Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Women in Conservation awards

The fifth annual Women in Conservation Luncheon yesterday included Audubon's Rachel Carson Awards, emceed by actress Sigourney Weaver. Carson wrote "Silent Spring" and has inspired many environmentalists since the book's release in 1962, and the award bearing her name "recognizes women who have demonstrated great leadership and commitment to conservation," according to National Audubon Society.

This year's award winners include Teresa Heinz Kerry, Bette Midler and the founders of the Women's Committee for the Central Park Conservancy. The first two winners posed with Weaver upon arriving at the Plaza.

Kerry received recognition for The Heinz Center, named for her late husband, Sen. John Heinz III. The nonprofit center focuses on environmental policy and partnerships between government, business, environmental organizations and academia.

Bette Midler founded the New York Restoration Project, which so far has established almost 60 gardens, cleaned more than 400 acres, turned an illegal dumping ground into a 5-acre public park on the Harlem River, and provided free environmental education and recreational programs. (I wish more entertainers followed her lead.)

The founders of the Women's Committee for the Central Park Conservancy created the means to raise more than 20 percent of the conservancy's $27 million annual operating budget. Jean Clark, Norma Dana, Marguerite Purnell, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers and Phyllis Cerf Wagner (deceased) founded the committee in 1983.

Weaver's role as the emcee apparently stems from a childhood interest in birdwatching. She recently narrated "Planet Earth" and recently finished two films with an environmental theme, "Wall-E" and "Avatar". "In 'Avatar,' Weaver plays a botanist devoted to studying and protecting a new planet. While shooting the film in New Zealand, she became fascinated with native birds and even more concerned with helping all bird species continue to survive," according to the NAS release.

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Blogger dguzman said...

Sigourney Weaver has always been one of my favorite actresses, and now I love her even more!

May 29, 2008 11:58 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Wouldn't it be fun to see her portray a hip birder in a movie?

May 29, 2008 12:01 PM  

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