Anne Codey Presented with National Conservation Service Award
Anne Codey of New York (L), volunteer extraordinaire, receives the National Conservation Service Award from Rand Wentworth (R), president of the Land Trust Alliance, at Rally in Hartford, CT, Oct. 2010.
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Anne Codey Honored with National Conservation Service Award
WASHINGTON, DC – Every year, one land conservation leader is selected to receive the Land Trust Alliance’s prestigious National Conservation Service Award for making a significant contribution to the advancement of land conservation. Ms. Anne Codey, an indefatigable volunteer for her local conservation community in Port Washington, New York, was presented with the award this year at Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference in Hartford, CT, on October 3, 2010.
Rand Wentworth, Land Trust Alliance President, said “Anne's tireless engagement with youth and the connections she makes with communities is the link between project implementation and its successful permanence through stewardship. It is our hope that presenting Anne with this award will send an important message to the land conservation community that we value this kind of humble, consistent service that is not always recognized but is always needed and appreciated.” He added, “We congratulate Anne on her tremendous dedication to the conservation efforts underway in this country and personally working to make a difference.”
When presented with the award, Codey said, “Growing up on suburban Long Island during the 1950's, I watched with dismay as the land where I explored and rode horses, from estates to farmland and wetlands, was plowed under and built into housing developments, universities, golf courses and shopping malls. Spaces that had been open to all for walking, hiking or horseback riding were no longer available. I decided to dedicate my time to volunteering on conservation projects to make a change in my community.”
Codey's first conservation project began in 1994 when she assumed management from her siblings and cousins for her family's 72 acre woodlot in central New Hampshire. She had become bothered by the results of previous logging by the method known as "take the best and leave the rest" and began working with a local forester and with New Hampshire Cooperative Extension to develop and implement a forest plan. The woodlot is now a certified New Hampshire Tree Farm, open to the public for hiking, fishing and hunting.
When Codey retired in 2006, she began volunteering at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) doing presentations on invasive species, and monitoring the boundaries of TNC properties on Long Island. While monitoring properties for TNC, she was introduced to Jane Jackson, Associate Director of Stewardship for North Shore Land Alliance (NSLA), and began assisting her with monitoring NSLA preserves and easements, and maintaining the trails as well as assisting with education programs for children. "Having worked with children and families throughout her career, Anne is adept at communicating a love of nature to almost any audience, largely because she practices what she preaches. She is a genuine role model," said Jane Jackson, Associate Director of Stewardship, North Shore Land Alliance.
In 2007, Codey began volunteering weekly with a horticulturist at Planting Fields Arboretum, a New York State Park, planting, pruning, weeding and learning about plant care. While working on the grounds of the Arboretum, she learned about a series of outdoor education classes the Arboretum offered to local preschool and elementary school groups.
"I had loved teaching my own children about gardening and nature. Seeing my grandchildren picking up worms, identifying birds, and running through forests reminded me how vital it is that we introduce the excitement of nature to urban and suburban children, who are far too often cut off from the natural world," Codey said.
Currently Codey works at the Planting Fields Arboretum in the education department, teaching seed germination and planting in the spring and leaf and tree identification in the fall. In addition, she volunteers for a group called PW Green in her hometown of Port Washington, NY. PW Green leads field trips for all local 4th grade classes at a Port Washington preserve. In this capacity Codey helps the children discover the wonders all around them in the woodlot and field habitats of the preserve.
“While members of PWGreen have only had a brief working relationship with Anne, it has been beneficial to both the students with whom we work and to our adult leadership. She seamlessly stepped in as a volunteer leader for an outdoor education program PWGreen provides for fourth grade students in the Port Washington School District, and she immediately captured the attention of a large group as she prepared them for their adventure as scientists and naturalists,” said Holly Byrne, Education Coordinator, PWGreen, Inc., Port Washington, NY.
A new project she's also involved in calls for working with New York State Audubon to bring their unique program called "For the Birds," which uses birds to connect elementary school children to the environment where they live, to three low/moderate income communities in Nassau County, Long Island.
Conservation needs abound all year long, and Codey has also been volunteering for the last three years with US Fish and Wildlife to monitor piping plover nesting at two sites, and she volunteers with North Shore Audubon for the Christmas bird count. “Anne loves to lead children through the natural world showing them how to reveal its wonders for themselves,” said Peggy Maslow, President, North Shore Audubon Society.
"Through my work with the Land Trusts (TNC and NSLA) I have discovered special and important places, watersheds, fields and woods that are preserving habitat for plants and wildlife. Some have been neglected, overrun by invasive vegetation with trails no longer usable, but we are working with these sites, setting goals to restore the land and make it friendly for both people and wildlife, seeing progress little by little," Codey said.
About The Land Trust Alliance
The Alliance is a national conservation organization that works in three ways to save the places people love. First, we increase the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected. Second, we enhance the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using the best practices in the business. And third, we ensure the permanence of conservation by creating the laws and resources needed to defend protected land over time. The Land Trust Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and has several regional offices. Visit www.landtrustalliance.org.
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