How are the Heroes chosen?

The Trust for Public Land will assemble a panel of civic and environmental leaders to select two runners up and one winner from the pool of nominations from each participating region. The four winners will move on to compete for the national Cox Conserves Hero title. Additionally, judges will select a second and third place winner from each region.

During the national voting period, the regional winners are profiled on the Cox Conserves Heroes website, during this time the public is invited to vote online. Once the voting period ends, the finalist with the most votes will be selected as the national Cox Conserves Hero.

What is the regional format?

Finalists and runners up will be selected using a regional format:

  • Northeast
  • Midwest
  • South
  • West

What do the Heroes receive?

In addition to individual recognition, all finalists and winners will receive cash awards to be donated to an environmental nonprofit of their choice courtesy of the James M. Cox Foundation.

  • 1 Grand-Prize (National Hero): $50,000
  • 4 National Finalists (Regional Winners): $10,000 each ($40,000 total)
  • 4 Regional Runners up (2nd place): $7,500 each ($30,000 total)
  • 4 Regional Second Runners up (3rd place): $5,000 each ($20,000 total)
    • Total Cash Prizes: $140k (12 individuals and 12 organizations recognized)

Where do I send questions not answered here?


Who is Eligible?

Individuals of all ages are eligible to become Cox Conserves Heroes. You may nominate yourself or someone else. Cox Enterprises, its affiliated companies, The Trust for Public Land employees and their immediate families are not eligible. Previous Cox Conserves Heroes and finalists are not eligible.

Nominee Criteria:

  • Nominee's activity creates, protects and/or beautifies an outdoor community space
  • Nominee's activity is done on a volunteer basis and is not part of his or her paid employment
  • Nominee's activity inspires others to engage in community conservation