David Hartwell Receives Kodak American Greenways Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Conservation Fund
Prominent Minnesota Businessman and Conservationist David Hartwell
Receives National Conservation Honor
Washington, DC — David Hartwell, president and founder of Minneapolis-based Bellcomb Technologies Incorporated, was one of four honorees to receive national recognition for outstanding achievement in greenways and open space preservation at the 21st annual Kodak American Greenways Awards, presented at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“On behalf of the Kodak American Greenways Program, I am particularly pleased to present David Hartwell with an award for his vision of a dedicated source for land and water conservation funding and his tireless leadership in seeing a citizen-led initiative through to success for the benefit of all Minnesotans present and future,” said The Conservation Fund’s president and CEO, Larry Selzer.
Alarmed by Minnesota’s diminishing waters and natural lands, concerned citizens advocated for dedicated funding for land conservation and freshwater protection. Led by Hartwell, this citizen initiative was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2008 and incorporated into Minnesota’s constitution as the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. With Hartwell’s vision now etched into the state’s constitution, the provision is expected to raise over $6 billion over the next 25 years for land and water conservation, cultural heritage protection and park and trail enhancement.
The amendment has already succeeded in preserving miles of trails and river corridors, hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and encouraged Minnesota’s residents and visitors to experience the beauty of their natural environment. Overseen by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, which Hartwell was appointed to after passage of the amendment, the Outdoor Heritage Fund of the amendment provided 80 percent of the funding needed for the largest Minnesota land conservation effort ever undertaken, the 187,000-acre Upper Mississippi Forest Project.
“In 2001, the perspective of what qualified as conservation success in Minnesota was rooted in the acceptance of the lack of apparent resources to adequately address the pressures from development,” said Hartwell. “By simply realizing that with a broader and more comprehensive vision of what we could and should accomplish, an alternative future was possible. That vision was ultimately embraced by the voters of the state but along the way, there were so many people who worked and contributed greatly to this effort. The conservation community came together and did something amazing that will change the landscape in our state forever and it was an honor to have their confidence and work shoulder to shoulder with so many dedicated and wonderful people along the way.”
Established in 1989 by Eastman Kodak Company, National Geographic Society and The Conservation Fund, the Kodak American Greenways Program honors leading individuals, organizations and corporations whose ingenuity and creativity have made a significant contribution to creating a national network of open space, trails and greenways.
“Kodak values and is pleased to support local community grassroots initiatives in preserving our nation’s great outdoor heritage,” said Charles Ruffing, Kodak’s director of Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability. “These local initiatives and individuals recognized in the Kodak American Greenways Awards are visible, valuable and never more vital.”
“Greenways not only improve the nation’s ecological health, these natural corridors provide vital opportunities for all Americans to get out, exercise and improve their physical health,” said Gilbert M. Grosvenor, chairman of the National Geographic Society. “With the help of companies like Kodak, the greenways network has linked city streets to parklands and other open spaces. The program still enjoys robust growth as we celebrate 21 years of cooperation.”
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About The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund is dedicated to advancing America’s land and water legacy. With our partners, we conserve land, train leaders and invest in conservation at home. Since 1985, we have helped protect more than 6.5 million acres, sustaining wild havens, working lands and vibrant communities. We’re a top-ranked conservation organization, effective and efficient. www.conservationfund.org
** Note: David Hartwell is an honored member of the Land Trust Alliance Board of Directors.