Emerald Award recognizes Nature Conservancy of Canada's Larry Simpson for his extraordinary commitment to conservation

CALGARY, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - The Nature Conservancy of Canada is delighted to celebrate the selection of Larry Simpson for a 2012 Emerald Award for Environmental Excellence at last night's annual celebration by the Alberta Emerald Foundation. These awards recognize and reward the excellent environmental initiatives undertaken each year by large and small corporations, individuals, not-for-profit associations, community groups and governments.

Larry Simpson, through his conservation work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, is a visionary leader in conservation, committed to ensuring the protection of Canada's greatest natural treasures, particularly along the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains.

For Larry Simpson, working with landowners to protect the lands they have ranched - sometimes for generations - and love is highly fulfilling. For over 20 years, Simpson has enabled conservation dreams to come true. Over 120,000 acres (48,500 hectares) of natural habitat along Alberta's eastern slopes - and over 185,000 acres (74,800 hectares) across Alberta - have been conserved through Simpson's work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Countless people have been inspired to work with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to conserve their land or support the organization's work through Simpson's commitment and desire to help others create their conservation legacy.

Seeking creative and innovative solutions, connecting with landowners and communities to ensure the protection of the lands they love, and helping people create their own conservation legacies are all part of the personal fulfillment Simpson receives from his work. Creating conservation legacies, whether it be by having a conversation with someone making a $100 or $1 million donation towards conservation, or negotiating with a landowner who donates a conservation easement to ensure it stays in its native state forever, to working with presidents of large international corporations so they can demonstrate corporate environmental leadership with substantial financial support for the organization are all part of Simpson's day to day work, passion and vision. 

Simpson is committed to finding innovative conservation solutions for landowners and helping philanthropists create conservation legacies through their financial gifts. His vision and passion have inspired and motivated hundreds of people to support and enable conservation in Alberta, and especially along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

The 2012 Emerald Awards for Environmental Excellence were presented last night in Calgary to honour individuals and organizations whose dedication to the environment is benefiting all Albertans. The Alberta Emerald Foundation has been working to recognize, celebrate and inspire environmental excellence in Alberta for over twenty years.  Eighty-four nominations were submitted, from which 34 finalists in eleven categories were selected by a panel of judges.

Quotes

"This is indeed an honour,"said Larry Simpson, Director, Strategic Philanthropy and Conservation and Associate Vice-President, Alberta Region, Nature Conservancy of Canada.

"Larry has done so much to inspire and motivate landowners, donors and volunteers to get behind the conservation of some of Alberta's most amazing natural masterpieces. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is celebrating its 50th year this year, and there is little more fitting than for Larry Simpson to be acknowledged for his incredible dedication and commitment to conservation here in Alberta," said Bob Demulder, Vice-President, Alberta Region, Nature Conservancy of Canada.

"For more than 21 years, Larry Simpson has tirelessly negotiated conservation agreements, maintained relations with landowners all along the eastern slopes and connected supporters of conservation with important projects that moved them, like The W. Garfield Weston Foundation's support of NCC's 30,000-acre Waterton Park Front project and the 16,000-acre conservation easement of Doc Seaman's OH Ranch. I can think of few individuals who embody the leadership, commitment, spirit and dedication for conserving Alberta's natural spaces more than Larry Simpson," said Pierre Alvarez, Chair of the Alberta Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Vice President, Corporate Relations, Nexen Inc.

"I have had the pleasure and honour of being part of the incredible success of the Nature Conservancy of Canada across the country, and especially some of the tremendous conservation accomplishments along the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains. Much of this success can be attributed to the commitment and dedication of staff and volunteers to NCC's mission. And one person in particular embodies this dedication, commitment and vision: Mr. Larry Simpson.  On behalf of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, I offer heartfelt congratulations to Larry for this most-deserved recognition," said Hal Kvisle, Chair, National Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and former President and CEO, TransCanada Corporation.

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The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.6 million acres (1 million hectares), coast to coast. To learn more visit: www.natureconservancy.ca

Photographs and staff interviews available. Check out our online newsroom for more updates at natureconservancy.ca/media.

SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information:

Jenel Bode
Senior Communications Coordinator - Alberta Region
jenel.bode@natureconservancy.ca
403.826.2029

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