Bob Byrnes

California Native Plant Society

Robert (Bob) Byrnes leads the restoration efforts for the San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Not only does he invest his personal time into the organization's efforts, but also sets aside time to encourage and train other volunteers on best practices. Bynes and his team of dedicated volunteers spend countless hours removing invasive plants that could potentially harm wildlife. His nonprofit of choice is California Native Plant Society.

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Barbara Duerk

FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Barbara Duerk has long been a visionary force in the Roanoke Valley, known for her tireless pursuit of building a better community and equal opportunities for all residents. Her efforts include preparing and serving food for the homeless, advocating for cycling as a form of transportation and recreation, helping young girls gain confidence and leadership skills through outdoor activities, and supporting the preservation of the Appalachian Trial Club and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Her nonprofit of choice is the Roanoke Valley Chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Eric Sophiea

Climbing Association of Southern Arizona

Eric Sophiea founded Climbers Association of Southern Arizona in 2015 to build an empowered group of rock climbers who give back to the community. As president, Sophiea dedicates thousands of personal volunteer hours, managing all levels of the registered 501(c)(3) organization. He has forged collaborations with nonprofits and conservation agencies, including the Arizona Wilderness Coalition, Arizona Conservation Corps and the U.S. Forest Service. His nonprofit of choice is the Climbing Association of Southern Arizona.

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Robert Cuddi

New England Aquarium

Robert Cuddi joined the New England Aquarium’s field-based volunteer program — the Live Blue Service Corps — in 2015 and has since been among the organization’s most active stewardship volunteers. Cuddi has dedicated hundreds of hours toward conservation efforts in and around Boston. He’s a longtime volunteer. Robert educates visitors at the aquarium, has assisted cold-stunned sea turtles as the aquarium’s Rescue and Rehab Center, has led volunteer cleanups at Revere Beach, and has worked with the Boston Water and Sewer Commission to label storm drains to protect from dumping and much more. Cuddi’s projects improve the local environment and build connections between people and their natural surroundings. His nonprofit of choice is the New England Aquarium.



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Mark Boyar

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust

Mark Boyar is passionate about the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley. For the past 20 years, Boyar has worked tirelessly to improve the valley. His efforts have brought other volunteers forward to help develop an accessible and ecologically healthy recreational area that the public can enjoy.  In the early '90s, Boyar and a group of other volunteers joined forces to build the arching bridge over the river at the Middle Fork Trailhead. He has displayed vision, volunteerism and tenacity as he facilitates support for the Middle Fork by working with public agencies, elected officials, nonprofits and local citizens. His nonprofit of choice is Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

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John Walther

Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana

Walther is a long-time volunteer of Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana (CCA Louisiana) and has been the guiding force behind over 20 unique artificial reef deployments across Louisiana’s coast. He has pioneered the use of recycled concrete materials in artificial reef projects and leads the annual Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program. His nonprofit of choice is Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana.

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Stephen Causby

Park Pride

Causby led the grassroots transformation of an overgrown lot in Atlanta. The lot now boasts picnic areas, garden beds, a mural, a playground, newly sodded play fields and a brand-new community center. He led every phase of the development, managing cleanups, executing programming, grant writing and soliciting community support. By engaging residents to participate in the park’s improvement, he developed a team of neighborhood leaders who help with maintenance and programming. His nonprofit of choice is Park Pride.

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Audrey Swindal

Wekiva Youth Camp

Swindal is known locally as “Mother Nature” to generations of campers, counselors and volunteers at the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs — Wekiva Youth Camp. Swindal was dubbed “Mother Nature” because of her extensive knowledge of flora, as well as her vivid storytelling ability. She has served the camp for more than 40 years and played an instrumental role in the development of the environmental camp located in the Wekiva Springs State Park.Not only does she lead by example in environmental stewardship, but she also takes time to share knowledge and legislative updates within the conservation community. Her nonprofit of choice is Wekiva Youth Camp.

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Shawn Redfield

Arizona Trail Association

Shawn Redfield serves as a full-time volunteer trail director along the 800-mile path from Mexico to Utah. He connects people with land by engaging and inspiring volunteers of all ages to care for the Arizona Trail. He replaces gates, conducts trail work and installs signage among many other activities to ensure visitors have a positive experience. His nonprofit of choice is Arizona Trail Association.

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