Women in Conservation

The Rachel Carson Award Honorees

2015

Warrie Price
Founder & President, The Battery Conservancy

Founding The Battery Conservancy in 1994 and serving as its President for over 20 years, Warrie has led the redesign and rebuilding of the 25-acre park at the tip of Manhattan. She spearheaded The Battery's dramatic transformation by forging partnerships with city, state, and federal agencies, private sector organizations and individual donors, raising more than $126 million. Today, The Battery is nearing completion for its 6 million annual visitors.

Its vast perennial gardens, organic urban farming, and resilient storm water management set a new standard in public landscape design, while honoring the park's history as one of the oldest public open spaces in continuous use in New York City. The Battery and its centerpiece landmark, Castle Clinton National Monument, have played pivotal roles in the history of our City and our nation. They now are thriving as integral parts of Lower Manhattan's revitalization. Warrie believes that public parks can demonstrate the importance of horticulture, agriculture, and water to the future of sustainable cities.

In addition to her role as President the Battery Conservancy, Warrie serves as New York City's Battery Administrator and New York State's Harbor Park Director. Previously, she was Founding Director of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and has championed the protection of New York waterfronts through serving on the Manhattan Borough President's Waterfront Taskforce and on the boards of Scenic Hudson and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.

Warrie began her career in government, working for the U.S. Foreign Service as Assistant Cultural Attaché in Santiago, Chile. She was awarded a fellowship from the Kennedy School at Harvard University where she received a Master of Public Administration. From there, she was recruited to her first job in New York City government as a project manager with the Bureau of Budget.

Flo Stone
Flo Stone is Founder and President Emerita of the annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, which she started in 1993. Presented for 23 years in Washington DC, the Festival has built a forum for public understanding of environmental issues ranging from hydrology to climate change, toxicants to resource depletion, food safety to energy conservation. Providing access to a full complement of environmental subjects, the festival fosters vital comprehension and dialogue, action and advocacy, inspiration and change. Exposing the public to such now-seminal works as GasLand, highlighting the dangers of hydraulic fracturing; March of the Penguins, depicting the epic journey of emperor penguins to ancestral breeding grounds; and An Inconvenient Truth, initiating a worldwide conversation about climate change, the Festival has promoted some of the most influential films of our time.

Each year more than 150 films are screened at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, creating the largest and longest running environmental film festival in the United States, availing thousands to the persuasive power of film. Affecting a person's world view more immediately and deeply than by any other medium, film maintains an unprecedented power to persuade and serves as an essential tool in environmental education today. The Festival has provided the public with a better understanding of the vast and complex issues challenging the environmental movement and has invited countless individuals, thought leaders, and distributors to consider their role and that of the collective whole in the greatest challenge of our time. Prior to founding the Festival, Stone worked on public programming for the American Museum of Natural History, where she initiated the Margaret Mead Film Festival now celebrating 39 years.

2014

Ellen V. Futter
Ellen V. Futter has been President of the American Museum of Natural History since 1993. During her tenure, the Museum has been in one of the most active periods of growth in its history, including strengthening and expanding its longstanding leadership in science education, and extending the role of museums more tyxvccbroadly in the formal education system. Over the last two decades, the Museum's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation has advanced a global mission of environmental science, as well as education and outreach about conservation. In 2006, with the establishment of the Richard Gilder Graduate School, the AMNH became the first American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree and in 2011, the Museum launched the nation's first free-standing museum-based Master of Arts program in teaching, focused on Earth science. These programs leverage the Museum's unique resources to create innovative programs in post-secondary education, helping to prepare the next generation of scientists, science teachers and scientifically literate citizens. In recognition of her leadership in education, Ms. Futter was designated a commissioner on the Carnegie-IAS Commission on Mathematics and Science Education and, in March 2010, testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology on the issue of STEM education. Before joining the Museum, Ms. Futter served as President of Barnard College for thirteen years where, at the time of her inauguration, she was the youngest person to assume the presidency of a major American college.

Kaiulani Lee 
Kaiulani Lee has more than thirty-five years of experience in theater, film and television, starring in over a dozen plays on and off- Broadway. For the past twenty-two years, Lee has been performing her one-woman play, "A Sense of Wonder," based on the life and works of Rachel Carson. "A Sense of Wonder" reminds the audience of the monumental stature and influence of Rachel Carson, of how precious our natural world is, and of just how dramatic and difficult the challenges can be for those who stand to protect the truth. Lee's performance is profoundly moving and the play is an immense vehicle promoting environmental education and activism. It has been performed at over one hundred universities, the Smithsonian Institute, the Albert Schweitzer Conference at the United Nations, at the Department of Interior's 150th anniversary, and on Capitol Hill, bringing Miss Carson's voice once again to the halls of Congress. In 2007, Bill Moyers celebrated Lee's work with an hour-long interview on Bill Moyers Journal. "A Sense of Wonder" was later filmed by award-winning cinematographer, Haskel Wexler, featured at film festivals across the globe and aired nationally on PBS. In 2011, Miss Lee's second play, "Can't Scare Me...The Story of Mother Jones," opened at the Atlas Theater in Washington, D.C. She has been nominated for the Drama Desk Award on Broadway and has won the Obie Award for "Outstanding off-Broadway Achievement."

Nell Newman
The daughter of actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Nell Newman grew up in a rural Connecticut home where she had an early introduction to natural foods. After receiving a B.S. in human ecology, Nell worked at the Environmental Defense Fund, served as Executive Director of the Ventana Wilderness Sanctuary, working to reestablish the Bald Eagle in central California and as Development Director for the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, the non-profit responsible for the captive breeding and restoration of the Peregrine Falcon in California. Nell's commitment to organic foods and sustainable agriculture led her to convince her father to establish an organic division of Newman's Own. She won him over by creating a completely organic Thanksgiving dinner, and then suggesting organic food products for the new Newman's Own Organics® line. Newman's Own Organics: The Second Generation® launched in 1993 with business partner Peter Meehan, bringing "great tasting products that happen to be organic" to the American public. Over two decades later, the company produces over 100 organic products and continues to promote the idea that organic food can be delicious, profitable and accessible to all. Nell currently serves as a board member of the Wholesome Wave Foundation, EcoTrust and Allergy Kids.

2013

Marian S. Heiskell
Conservationist and Philanthropist
Marian S. Heiskell is a lifelong conservationist and leader in numerous public and philanthropic activities focused on preserving green spaces in New York City and across the nation. She was a citizen founder of the iconic Gateway National Recreation Area, one of the country's largest urban national parks. She is the Honorary Chairman of GrowNYC, former Chairman of The New 42nd Street, Inc., and a driving force behind the restoration of 42nd Street and Times Square. She is also Chairman of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy; a member of the Board of Directors of Audubon New York; a member of the Board of Directors of the 42nd Street Development Corp.; and an Honorary Life Trustee of the Community Service Society of New York. Mrs. Heiskell is proud to have been the granddaughter, daughter, wife, sister, and aunt of the Publisher of The New York Times. She is a former member of The New York Times Company Board and also served as the first woman Board member of several other corporations, including Ford Motor Company, Merck & Co., Inc., and Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.

Lady Bird Johnson 
First Lady and Environmental Pioneer

As a child, Lady Bird Johnson paddled under the great cypress trees of Caddo Lake in northeast Texas, learning to love the land. She devoted much of her life to preserving it. After her husband, Lyndon Johnson, was elected President in 1964, she made conservation her cause. She beautified parks, small and large, and thousands of miles of highway. "Though the word beautification makes the concept sound merely cosmetic, it involves much more: clean water, clean air, clean roadsides, safe waste disposal and preservation of valued old landmarks as well as great parks and wilderness areas," Mrs. Johnson said. The Highway Beautification Act of 1964 is her legacy, but the Johnson administration's legacy includes nearly 200 environmental laws. At the age of 70, she created the National Wildflower Research Center, now the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, in Austin, Texas, to demonstrate the value and beauty of native plants which are threatened worldwide.

2012

The Reverend Canon Sally Grover Bingham
President, The Regeneration Project/Interfaith Power & Light
The Reverend Canon Sally Grover Bingham, an Episcopal priest and Canon for the Environment in the Diocese of California, was one of the first faith leaders to fully recognize global warming as a moral issue. She is founder and president of The Regeneration Project and its national Interfaith Power & Light campaign, which mobilizes religious communities to address global warming. The Rev. Bingham serves on the national boards of the Environmental Defense Fund, the Environmental Working Group, and the advisory board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. In 2012, she received the Rachel Carson Award from the Audubon Society. The Rev. Bingham is the lead author of Love God Heal Earth, a collection of 21 essays on environmental stewardship by religious leaders, published by St. Lynn's Press. 

L. Hunter Lovins
President, Natural Capitalism Solutions
As President of Natural Capitalism Solution, Hunter Lovins helps companies, communities and countries implement more sustainable business practices profitably. Hunter has worked in numerous countries, and was recently asked to participate at a conference at the United Nations on reframing the economy. Over her 30 years as a sustainability thought leader, Hunter has written hundreds of articles and 13 books. A founder of the field of Sustainable Management, Hunter has helped create several MBA programs and currently teaches Sustainable Business at Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Washington State, the University of Denver and Bard College. Hunter has won dozens of awards, including the European Sustainability Pioneer award, the Right livelihood Prize (the alternative Nobel), Time Magazine has recognized her as a Millennium Hero for the Planet, and Newsweek called her the Green Business Icon.  

Janette Sadik-Khan
Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation
Janette Sadik-Khan has served as the Commissioner of NYCDOT since 2007. Internationally recognized for her expertise in transportation issues, public policy development and innovative finance, Sadik-Khan has implemented an ambitious program to improve safety, mobility and sustainability throughout NYC, and ensure a state of good repair on the city's roads, sidewalks and bridges. Sadik-Khan has overseen a series of innovative projects, including creating more pedestrian space in Times Square and along Broadway from Columbus Circle to Union Square, the planning and launch of seven Select Bus Service routes, the addition of 300 miles of bicycle lanes, the installation and design of 50 plazas citywide, and the publication of a Street Design Manual and Street Works Manual that define new standards for creating more durable and attractive streets. 

2011

Maya Lin
Artist, Architect, and Environmentalist

Maya Lin has maintained a careful balance between art and architecture throughout her career, creating a remarkable body of work that includes large-scale site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works and memorials. A committed environmentalist, Lin's work draws inspiration from the landscape, interpreting the world through a twenty-first century technological lens. Her work asks the viewer to reconsider nature and the environment at a time when it is crucial to do so. She is now working on her last memorial, "What is Missing?", a monument manifested as a webpage, video works, and multi-sited installations that raise awareness of the current global extinction crisis.Sigourney Weaver
Actress and Environmental Activist

Acclaimed actress Sigourney Weaver is well-known, both on and off the screen, for her dedication to the conservation movement. A vocal advocate for the protection of mountain gorillas, Sigourney won an Academy Award nomination and was awarded a Golden Globe for her role as primatologist Dian Fossey in "Gorillas in the Mist." In addition, she serves as Honorary Chairperson of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Sigourney has also been a friend of the oceans, speaking out against deep sea trawling before the 2006 United Nations General Assembly and narrating NRDC's "Acid Test," an in-depth look at ocean acidification. Sigourney is recognized for giving voice to Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" and for her lead role as Dr. Grace Augustine in James Cameron's poignant blockbuster, "Avatar." Sigourney is currently starring on Broadway in Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

2010

Suzanne Lewis
Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park

On February 10, 2002, Suzanne Lewis began her duties as the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. She manages more than 2.2 million acres, a staff of 400 and has an annual base budget of more than $36 million, the largest operating budget of any national park in the National Park Service. Before coming to Yellowstone, Suzanne was superintendent at Glacier National Park. She began her NPS career as a seasonal park ranger in 1978 at Gulf Islands National Seashore. During her 11-year tenure at Gulf Islands National Seashore, she served in a variety of positions including park technician, park historian, supervisory park ranger and management assistant to the superintendent. Chosen in 1988 for an international assignment to the Republic of Haiti, she assisted the United Nation's efforts to preserve, protect and educate Haitians in the preservation of natural and cultural resources. In 1989, Lewis was appointed acting superintendent for Christiansted National Historic Site and Buck Island Reef National Monument in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She was selected in 1990 as the first superintendent for the newly created Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve - a national park site in Jacksonville, Florida. Lewis served as the superintendent for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1997 to April 2000, where she managed one of the busiest national recreation areas in the United States.

Ms. Lewis earned her B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) in American History, in 1978 from the University of West Florida. During her Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program, Lewis completed assignments with the Department of Interior Secretary's Special Assistant for Alaska, the Department of interior Office of Management and Budget, and the Walt Disney World Corporation.

Throughout her NPS career, Lewis has received numerous awards recently being named as a 2007 National Women's History Month Honoree; the National Women's History Project is known nationally as the only clearing house providing information to expand the understanding of women's contribution to U.S. history.

Other awards include; the Secretary's Bronze Executive Leadership Award in March 2004, the National Park Service Meritorious Service Award in September 2003, and the National Parks and Conservation Association Park Manager of the Year for Partnerships in 1994. She was also awarded the Woman of Distinction Award by the Girl Scout Councils of America in 1997.

Lewis enjoys traveling and completed a tour of national parks in southern Africa in 1996, and Sweden in 2005. Other interests include producing pottery, and the outdoors. She has been married to Michael Hurrell since 1983.

Isabella Rossellini
Actress, Director, Writer & Environmental Activist

Moving easily from early forays into comedy and television reporting to roles in movies, television, and stage productions and from an illustrious international modeling career (as the face of Lancome for 14 years) and developing her own brand of cosmetics to writing and philanthropy, and after appearing in more than 40 films ("Blue Velvet," "Death Becomes Her," "The Saddest Music in the World," "Infamous") and 25 made-for-television movies/series ("Alias," "Discovery Atlas: Italy Revealed," "Iconoclasts," "30 Rock"), Isabella Rossellini turned her eye to film making. Her debut was her mischievous and witty film, "My Dad is 100 Years Old," a pretend dialogue about the essence of film. In it, Ms. Rossellini appears as herself, speaks her father's words, and also brilliantly portrays Fellini, Selznick, Hitchcock, Chaplin, and her own mother, whom she strikingly resembles.

In 2008 Robert Redford's Sundance Institute commissioned Ms. Rossellini to make a series of short films to address the issues of the environment. She chose the mating habits of bugs and called her series GREEN PORNO, which has been celebrated in film festivals here and abroad. She won the Webby Award for "Best Individual Performance" for GREEN PORNO. For the second series, which involves sea creatures, she took courses in biology at New York University. The third season of GREEN PORNO features marine life and sea creatures. In addition to the shorts on the Sundance Channel, in the fall of 2009, a book of GREEN PORNO was released which included all three seasons of the shorts.

On the heels of the great sucess of GREEN PORNO, Ms. Rossellini has partnered up with Sundance again for a new series about animal courtship to be called SEDUCE ME. The first five short films will be released in April 2010 and the second five released in Summer 2010.

Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini was born in Rome and lived her early years in Rome, Santa Marinella, and Paris. She came to New York at the age of 19 to study English and attend Finch College. During this early period she appeared intermittently on Roberto Benigni's Italian comedy show, "The Other Sunday." She holds dual United States and Italian citizenship and is the daughter of the Academy Award-winning Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman ("Casablanca," "Anastasia," "Autumn Sonata") and the groundbreaking, iconic Italian film director Robert Rossellini, who made film history with "Rome, Open City."

For more information:
Sundance Channel's Green Porno

Dr. Beth Stevens
Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment & Conservation The Walt Disney Company

Dr. Stevens is senior vice president of Environmental Affairs for The Walt Disney Company.

Beth leads the environmental efforts for the company and is responsible for developing and facilitating the company's strategy, policy, and goals.

Beth joined Disney to help open Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Her first role was as Conservation and Science Director, and then General Manager for Disney's Animal Programs. In August of 2001, Beth was promoted to Vice President of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney's Animal Programs division.

Beth received her bachelor's degree in Zoology at Duke University and went on to study behavioral physiology as a German Academic Exchange student at the University of Tuebingen, West Germany. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Biology.

Beth served as President and Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 2006, past president 2007. She currently serves on the board of the International Rhino Foundation, as well as on the board for Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, FL.

Beth and her family live in Winter Garden, Florida. Her husband, Ted, is a research ecologist. They have two teenage sons, Brad and Alex.

Fernanda M. Kellogg 
Former President, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation 

Fernanda Kellogg is president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, established in 2000. She was appointed to this position in 2004. In her role, Ms. Kellogg oversees the Foundation's mission to provide grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to the education and preservation of the arts and environmental conservation. Support is also given to cultural institutions that foster design and the decorative arts and preserve traditional artisanship. In addition, the Foundation assists organizations dedicated to conservation of natural resources from which the company draws the materials and inspiration that are at the heart of Tiffany design.

Ms. Kellogg joined Tiffany in 1984 as director of retail marketing and was promoted to vice president two years later. In 1990, she was appointed group vice president of public relations. Since 2007 she has devoted her attention full time to The Tiffany & Co. Foundation.

Ms. Kellogg is a member of the board of directors of the World Monuments Fund. In addition, she is a member of the executive committee of The Bard Graduate School of Decorative Arts, a member of the Board of The Girl Scouts of Greater New York, and is an Advisory Board member of Nina McLemore LLC. She has served as a co-chairman of The New York Botanical Garden "Orchid Dinner" from 2005 through 2009 and as the Chair of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York Annual Tribute Dinner in 2009.

For more information:
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation

2009

Dr. A. Sylvia Earle
National Geographic Explorer in Residence; Founder, Deep Search Foundation

Called "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and the New York Times, a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress, and Time Magazine's first "Hero for the Planet," Sylvia Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, lecturer, Explorer in Residence of the National Geographic Society, Leader of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, Council Chair for the Harte Research Institute at Texas A & M, Corpus Christi, Founder and Chairman of Deep Search, and formerly the Chief Scientist of NOAA. She has founded three companies including Deep Ocean Exploration and Research and served on various corporate Boards including Dresser Industries, Kerr-McGee, Oryx Energy and Undersea Industries. She is a graduate of St. Petersburg College and Florida State University with MA and PhD from Duke University and 17 honorary doctorates.

Author of more than 170 publications, lecturer in more than 70 countries, and participant in numerous television and radio productions, her research concerns the ecology and conservation of marine ecosystems, with special reference to marine algae and development of technology for access and research in the deep sea. Worldwide field experience includes leading more than 70 expeditions and more than 6500 hours underwater including nine saturation dives and use of various submarines. She serves on the boards of organizations including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mote Marine Laboratory, Rutgers Marine and Coastal Studies Institute, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Conservation Fund, Aspen Institute, Ocean Futures, American Rivers, Ocean Conservancy, Marine Conservation Biology Institute, and is a Patron of Wildscreen. She Co-chairs the Science Committee of the U. S. National Parks 21st Century Commission and is a member of the Aspen Institute's Arctic Commission.

She has received more than 100 national and international honors including the 2009 TED Prize, the Order of the Golden Ark by the Netherlands, Australia's Banksia Award, and medals from the Explorers Club, Society of Women Geographers, Barnard College, National Wildlife Federation, New England Aquarium, the Lindbergh Foundation and the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences. She is a fellow of AAAS, Marine Technology Society, California Academy of Science and the Royal Geographical Society, and is a member of the World Academy of Art and Science. She has received the Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award, National Women's Hall of Fame and the Department of Interior's Conservation Service Award.

Sally Jewell 
Secretary of the Interior 

As Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell leads an agency that serves as steward for approximately 20 percent of the nation's lands, including national parks; oversees the responsible development of energy on public lands and waters; and upholds trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. Previously, Jewell served as President and CEO of REI. During her tenure, REI nearly tripled in business to $2 billion and was consistently ranked one of the 100 best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine. Before joining to REI, Jewell spent 19 years as a commercial banker. Jewell began her career as an oil and gas engineer. An avid outdoorswoman, Jewell enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest and recently climbed Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica. Jewell is a graduate of the University of Washington. She and her husband, Warren, have two adult children.

Elizabeth Cushman Titus Putnam
Founding President, Student Conservation Association

Liz Putnam is the Founding President of the Student Conservation Association. In her 1955 thesis at Vassar College, she conceived of a modern day Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to address a growing crisis in our national parks. Liz proposed matching student volunteers with conservation projects that would benefit both students and the environment. Today, SCA is the nation's leading provider of conservation service opportunities and leadership training for youth. Still active as SCA's premier ambassador and honorary director, Liz has received numerous awards for her work, among them, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the President's Volunteer Action Award, the Department of Interior's Conservation Achievement Award, the Garden Club of America's Margaret Douglas Medal, Rachel Carson Awards from the National Audubon Society and Chatham University, the Society of Women Geographers Outstanding Achievement Award and The Corps Network Legacy Achievement Award.

NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" Initiative 
Elizabeth Colleton, Jane Evans and Susan Haspel

Green is Universal Launched in May 2007, Green is Universal is NBC Universal's ongoing green initiative dedicated to raising awareness, effecting positive change to the environment, and substantially greening its own operations.
 

2008

Teresa Heinz Kerry
Philanthropist

Teresa Heinz Kerry, a pioneer in the field of venture philanthropy, is one of the nation's leading environmental advocates. Currently chairman of the Heinz Endowments and the Heinz Family Philanthropies, Ms. Heinz Kerry established The Heinz Center in honor of her late husband, Senator John Heinz. The Center is dedicated to improving the scientific and economic foundation for environmental policy through collaboration among business, government, academia, and environmental organizations. Involved in protecting, and advocating for the environment since her early childhood years in Mozambique, Ms. Heinz Kerry works tirelessly to promote environmental awareness and literacy.

Ms. Heinz Kerry established The Teresa Heinz Scholars for Environmental Research program provides enhancement support for doctoral dissertation and master's thesis (or project) research; created The John Heinz Environmental Fellows Program for students enrolled in United Negro College Fund (UNCF) institutions; and co-authored This Moment on Earth with her husband, Senator John Kerry. As co-founder of the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning (now called the Alliance for Healthy Homes), she has focused attention and action on the link between the environment and health.

Named by the UTNE Reader to its list of 100 Visionaries, Ms. Heinz Kerry has been recognized by numerous awards for her environmental leadership, including the World Ecology Award from the International Center for Tropical Ecology at the University of Missouri and the Shades of Green award from the Green Building Alliance.

Bette Midler 
Founder, New York Restoration Project

Celebrated entertainer Bette Midler founded the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) in 1995 in the belief that clean, green neighborhoods are fundamental to the quality of life, and that every community in New York City deserves an oasis of natural beauty.

Accomplishments include establishing 57 gardens, cleaning over 400 acres; transforming an illegal dumping ground into a new 5-acre public park on the Harlem River, and giving over 10,000 economically disadvantaged youngsters free environmental education and recreational programs. NYRP recently announced a partnership with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's PlaNYC and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to Launch MillionTreesNYC, an initiative to plant one million trees in the City.

Ms. Midler's award-winning career as a performer spans stage, screen, and recording studio. She received a Grammy for her platinum-selling album, The Divine Miss M; a Tony Award for her appearance at Broadway's Palace Theatre, and two Oscar nominations. She received two Emmy Awards, one for her touching farewell song to Johnny Carson on his final broadcast as host of The Tonight Show. In March 2008 she opened in Las Vegas to rave reviews. Per The New York Times, "Like all great showgirls, she may wear sequins like a second skin, but the woman underneath is all flesh and blood, humor and heart."

Jean Clark, Norma Dana, Marguerite Purnell, Betsy Barlow Rogers and Phyllis Wagner
Central Park Conservancy

By 1980, Central Park's 843 acres were mired in a cycle of neglect. Inadequate funding led to disrepair and crime, leading many New Yorkers to abandon the park. But Elizabeth Barlow Rogers was determined to restore Manhattan's crown jewel, and the first public park built in the U. S., to its former luster. With New York City Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis and four other dynamic women who shared her vision - Norma Dana, Jean Clark, Marguerite Purnell and Phyllis Wagner* - she established the Central Park Conservancy.

Ms. Rogers became the first president of this innovative public-private partnership. The Conservancy's park-wide restoration effort embraced public lawns including Sheep Meadow, magnificent architectural structures like Bethesda Fountain, and gardens, including the Conservatory Gardens. The historic Dairy became a visitor center. The Conservancy also funds many public programs in the Park, from cultural series, to sports and recreation activities, to. educational programs nurturing the next generation of Park stewards.

Today, more than 25 million people, both New Yorkers and visitors from around the globe, enjoy Central Park each year. The Conservancy model has set new standards of excellence in park care, with parks across the city and around the world replicating the model. Its Founding Women inspired a lasting legacy, ensuring that Central Park will be a refuge and haven for future generations.

2007

Frances Beinecke
President of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). 

Frances Beinecke is the president of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Under her leadership, the organization has launched a new strategic campaign that sharply focuses NRDC's efforts on curbing global warming, moving America beyond oil, reviving the world's oceans, saving endangered wild places, stemming the tide of toxic chemicals and accelerating the greening of China.

Ms. Beinecke has worked with NRDC for more than 30 years. Prior to becoming the president in 2006, she served as the organization's executive director for eight years, presiding over a rapid expansion of staff, membership and organizational capabilities. She also worked as a member of NRDC's water and coastal program, fighting to protect marine ecosystems from offshore oil and gas development and advocating for sound coastal land use.

Ms. Beinecke received a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a master's degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She now co-chairs the Leadership Council of the Yale School of Forestry, is a member of the Yale School of Management's Advisory Board and a former member of the Yale Corporation.

Ms. Beinecke has received the Rachel Carson Award from the National Audubon Society, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the Annual Conservation Award from the Adirondack Council, and the Robert Marshall Award from the Wilderness Society.

Majora Carter
Founder and Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx

Majora Carter is an internationally renowned urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. From 2001-8, she founded and led Sustainable South Bronx and through it, was responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems. Majora built on that foundation with innovative ventures and insights into urban economic developments designed to help move Americans out of poverty. In 2012, she co-founded Startup Box South Bronx, a technology education and entrepreneurship program in, and for the South Bronx community, designed to seed the ground for community participation in accessible and lucrative economic growth trends. She continually sets new standards of excellence with projects within the South Bronx, while expanding her reach nationally and internationally. Her philanthropic pursuits and business interests have all pointed toward greater self-esteem and economic potential for low-income people everywhere.

Laurie David
Author, Producer and Environmental Advocate

Laurie David is one of our nation's most effective and prolific leaders in the fight against global warming. She founded the Stop Global Warming Virtual March at www.stopglobalwarming.org, and produced the Academy Award winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, based on former Vice President Al Gore's research.

Ms. David has also authored two books bringing the issue of global warming into mainstream popular culture: bestseller Stop Global Warming: The Solution is You! and The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming, co-authored with Cambria Gordon, which received the Green Earth Book Award. A veteran of television and entertainment, Ms. David raised awareness for the issue as executive producer of a comedy special, Earth to America! for TBS, and the HBO documentaryToo Hot Not to Handle, which won a Gracie Allen Award. In the spring of 2007 Ms. David launched the Stop Global Warming College Tour with Sheryl Crow. Together, they inspired students to join the movement to stop global warming.

As a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council and a founding member of the Detroit Project, Ms. David has spearheaded numerous public education and action campaigns urging Congress and automakers to raise fuel efficiency standards. In 2007 she received the Feminist Majority's Eleanor Roosevelt Award, Audubon Society's Rachel Carson Award and National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Achievement Award Special Achievement.

Deirdre Imus
Founder and President of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology

Diedre Imus is the Founder and President of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology® at Hackensack University Medical Center and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer.

She is author of the newest book in the Green This! series, Growing Up Green, Baby and Child Care. This New York Times bestseller is a practical family guide to raising children in an ever increasing toxic world;; and the 2007 New York Times bestseller, Green This! Volume 1: Greening Your Cleaning, offering a wealth of insights and expertise for protecting families from harmful chemicals. Ms. Imus is also author of The Imus Ranch: Cooking for Kids and Cowboys, another bestseller, and a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post.

She serves on the boards of several children's health organizations, including the National Autism Association, whose mission includes educating and empowering families affected by autism and other neurological disorders; Safe Minds, whose mission includes working to end the devastation to human health and function from early life exposures to man made sources of mercury and scientifically based funded research, increased awareness and advocacy; and SKIP of New York, which enables families of chronically ill and developmentally disabled children to care for them at home. Ms. Imus was honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award in 2007.

2006

Kathleen Bader 
Former President and CEO of NatureWorks LLC

Kathleen Bader is the retired president and chief executive officer of NatureWorks LLC, which makes proprietary, corn-based resins as an environmental alternative to petroleum based plastics. The company was formerly known as Cargill Dow LLC, an equal joint venture between The Dow Chemical Company and Cargill, Incorporated and now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cargill.

Ms. Bader joined Dow in 1973, held numerous sales, marketing, operations and business management positions in Dow's global and North America operations, became business group president and corporate vice president, Quality & Business Excellence in 2000 and chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cargill Dow LLC in February 2004. She became president of NatureWorks LLC in February 2005 following Cargill's acquisition of Dow's interest in Cargill Dow.

In 2002, Ms. Bader was named to the United States Homeland Security Advisory Council. She is also a member of the International Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity and the Dean's Council at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Bader was identified as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in International Business by Fortune Magazine in October 2001, and profiled by Forbes for her work in corn-based polymers in 2005. A year later in 2006, she was honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award.

Margie Ruddick
Landscape Designer

Through nearly 20 years of practice, authorship and teaching, landscape architect Margie Ruddick has pioneered an approach to landscape design blending aesthetic expression with ecological purpose.

She has been integrating natural systems with strong landscape form since the early 1980s, when she worked on the restoration of Central Park and other parklands in New York City. At Battery Park City, she introduced sustainable landscape strategies to minimize maintenance cost. Other US projects range from the Queens Plaza landscape improvement plan in New York City to sustainable master plans for such diverse landscapes as downtown Trenton, New Jersey and Marlboro College in Vermont.

Water is central to many of her international projects, including Living Water Park, in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, where she collaborated with environmental artist Betsy Damon to create a riverfront refuge for thi bustling city of nine million people. The park's fountains and constructed wetlands showcase the natural processes used to clean the water. Her work on a 2,500-acre ecological resort in India emphasizes the preservation and enhancement of existing wildlife habitats.

Honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award in 2006, she also received the Places Design Award 1999, the Waterfront Centre's first prize 1998, and the Lewis Mumford Award for the Environment from Architects Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility in 2002.

2005

Kay Kelley Arnold
Vice President of Public Affairs, Entergy Corporation

As a law student, Kay Arnold worked for Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, later becoming a member of his cabinet as the Director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, a department that manages natural areas, scenic rivers, and endangered species, as well as arts, museums and historic preservation. After overseeing the first effort to create the Arkansas Nature Conservancy, Arnold received the President's Award for outstanding achievement. She launched an initiative to acquire and protect the bottomland hardwood forests surrounding the Cache River in Arkansas, and in the 1990's was appointed to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. President Bill Clinton subsequently named her to the Inter-American Foundation, where she continues to serve.

Ms. Arnold has also served on the board of the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission and the Delta Environmental Land Trust Association. She recently completed her 10 year service as a member of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and is currently the chair of the Little Rock National Airport Commission and the National Wildlife Federation's President's Council, and is on the board of The Conservation Fund. Ms. Arnold was honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award in 2005.

Ms. Arnold is the Vice President of Public Affairs for Entergy Corporation, and manages the Entergy Foundation and giving programs, political action committees and grassroots programs, low-income programs and other community programs.

Bernadette Castro
Former Commissioner, New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Bernadette Castro became famous to New Yorkers at age four when she was able to easily open her family's Castro Convertible sofas in their television commercials. In doing so, she helped to build the multimillion dollar convertible furniture company and became the most televised child in America. Bernadette sold the furniture division in 1993 and entered a 12-year career in government as a member of Governor George E. Pataki's cabinet, serving as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation Officer. Bernadette diligently pursued public-private partnerships to fund many capital projects throughout State Parks, and under her leadership, New York State won the national Gold Medal Award as "The Best State Park System in the Country" in October 2003. As part of Governor Pataki's environmental/open space team, more than 1 million acres of New York land was protected. Bernadette, however, is now back in the private sector and has re-launched the heritage brand her parents started so many years ago.

Dr. Mae Jemison
Founder, BioSentient Corporation

Dr. Mae C. Jemison has pioneered new frontiers since her childhood in Chicago. Enrolling at Stanford University at 16, she graduated with degrees in chemical engineering and Afro-American studies. After receiving a Doctor of Medicine degree from Cornell, she practiced medicine in Cambodia and West Africa.

Dr. Jemison was working as a general practitioner in Los Angeles when NASA selected her for astronaut training. In 1992, aboard the Shuttle Endeavour, Dr. Jemison became the first African-American woman to enter space. She later founded the Jemison Group, Inc, a technology consulting company, as well as BioSentient Corporation, an innovator in medical devices. A strong voice for science literacy, Dr. Jemison started The Earth We ShareT, an international science camp for students 12-16 years old, in 1994.

Dr. Jemison chairs the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence and serves as Bayer Corporation's national advocate for the Making Science Make Sense initiative. Dr. Jemison also chairs the Texas State Product Development and Small Business Incubator Board, and Texas State Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry Cluster; and serves on the Boards of Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Scholastic, Inc., Valspar Corporation and Gen-Probe Inc.

In addition to being honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award in 2004, Dr. Jemison is a winner of the Kilby Science Award. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine; an inductee of National Women's Hall of Fame, National Medical Association Hall of Fame and Texas Science Hall of Fame.

Margaret Wittenberg
Whole Foods Market Vice President of Global Quality Standards

Margaret Wittenberg is Vice President of Global Communications and Quality Standards at Whole Foods Market, the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket chain.

An internationally recognized expert on sustainable agriculture with 30 years of experience in the natural and organic foods industry, Ms. Wittenberg joined Whole Foods Market in 1981. She focuses on quality, food safety, policy issues, and food and nutrition education, and was instrumental in the creation of the National Organic Standards, serving as the sole retail representative on the USDA's National Organic Standards Board.

A longtime champion for a higher standard of animal welfare in livestock production, she coordinates Whole Foods Market's farm animal quality standards, chairs the Animal Compassion Foundation, and currently serves on the board of the Global Animal Partnership. She is also a member of the Marine Stewardship Council Board of Trustees and a Board member of the Whole Planet Foundation.

In 2005, she was honored by the National Audubon Society with the Rachel Carson Award for her more than 30 years of work championing organic agriculture, sustainability and the environment. She has also authored several books on the topics of food and nutrition, her latest being New Good Food, published by Ten Speed Press in October 2007, and her New Good Food Shopper's Pocket Guide, published in April 2008.

2004

Jayni Chase
Environmental Activist and Philanthropist

Convinced that environmental change must begin with the education of our children, Jayni Chase founded the Center for Environmental Education in 1988. It has grown into one of the strongest and most vital outreach programs for K -12 teachers and students worldwide, providing resources and materials, connecting educators through networking opportunities, and providing consulting services free of charge.

Ms. Chase also authored Blueprint for a Green School, a compilation of over 7,500 sources of environmental information, resources and ideas for schools that want to 'Go Green.' Ms. Chase has also served on numerous Boards, including, Friends of the Earth, which she chaired from 2002-2003, the Antioch New England Institute, Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet, Global Green USA, Californians Against Waste and The Coalition for Clean Air.

In 2004 Ms. Chase was awarded an honorary degree in Environmental Studies from Antioch New England Graduate School for her work in the field of environmental education. Her awards include recognition from the National Resources Defense Council, The Environmental Media Association, the Crittenton Center, Women For, the Rainforest Alliance, the U.S. Environmental Film Festival and she shared the Celebrity Fight Night Humanitarian Award of 2005 with her husband, Chevy Chase. In 2004 and 2005 Ms. Chase received Audubon's Rachel Carson Award and the Thorne Ecological Institutes Environmental Award respectively.

Lynn Chase
Wildlife Artist, Philanthropist

Lifelong conservationist, Lynn Chase, has been inspiring people with her depictions of wildlife in art, dinnerware and giftware for more than 30 years. A self-taught painter, Lynn, displayed her art in one-woman and group exhibitions through the 70's and 80's. In 1988 she launched Lynn Chase Designs and remains the sole designer and guiding force behind her company.

Ms. Chase's careful observation of animals in the wild and a true understanding of their behavior make her collections inspiring and true to life. But, her popular collections of tableware and giftware do more than delight purchasers, they help support wildlife around the world. A generous portion of proceeds from their sale is donated to The Lynn Chase Wildlife Foundation (LCWF), which Ms. Chase also founded in 1988. LCWF supports a wide variety of projects to preserve and protect endangered species and their habitat.

Ms. Chase is pivotally involved in many conservation interests worldwide and was honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award in 2004. In addition to her service as Chairperson of The Lynn Chase Wildlife Foundation, she is active in The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and serves as a board member for The Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE).

Maria Rodale
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Rodale Inc. 

Maria Rodale is Chairman of the Board of Rodale Inc., the world's leading publisher of information on healthy, active lifestyles. After beginning her career in a Washington, D.C public relations firm, she joined her family's business in 1987. Since joining the board in 1991, she has helped build an international multimedia company from the small publishing business that her late grandfather J. I. Rodale founded in 1930.

Today, with a mission to inspire and enable people to improve their lives and the world around them, Rodale Inc. reaches tens of millions of people worldwide every month through its well-known magazines including Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health, and a wide range of books in the categories of health, fitness, gardening, environmental issues, sports, narrative nonfiction, biography, memoir, parenting, inspiration, and home arts.

Ms. Rodale is also the author of four books: It's My Pleasure, co-written with her daughter, Maya Rodale, Maria Rodale's Organic Gardening, Maria Rodale's Organic Gardening Companion, Betty's Book of Laundry Secrets. Co-recipient of the prestigious Women in Periodical Publishing's "Exceptional Woman in Publishing" award in 2004, Ms. Rodale was also honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award. The following year in 2005, she received the "Special Citizen" award from Arts for Healing and the Children's Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC) at its annual One World, One Child. Ms. Rodale is also a board member of the New York Restoration Project.

Peggy Shepard
Executive Director, West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc.

Peggy Shepard is executive director and co-founder of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT). WE ACT, New York's first environmental justice organization was created in 1988 to improve environmental health and quality of life in communities of color. A former Democratic District Leader and President of the National Women's Political Caucus-Manhattan, and first female chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to the EPA, Ms. Shepard is currently co-chair of the Northeast Environmental Justice Network.

An author and former journalist, Ms. Shepard has published many articles chronicling environmental impacts on urban health. Her numerous honors include the10th Annual Heinz Award for the Environment, a Community Service Award from West Harlem Group Assistance, a Feinstone Environmental Award from SUNY, and the Dean's Distinguished Service Award from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

In addition to being honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award in 2004, Ms. Shepard also received the Earth Day Award for Excellence in Environmental Advocacy from Earth Day NY, the Susan B. Anthony Award from the National Organization of Women NYC Chapter, and the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats honored her for political and environmental advocacy. A board member of the national and New York Leagues of Conservation Voters, Environmental Defense, NY Earth Day, Audubon NY, the Children's Environmental Health Network, and Healthy Schools Network, Inc., she is an advisory board member of the Bellevue Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic, the Harlem Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Mt. Sinai's Children's Environmental Health Center.

Alice Waters
Chef, Author, Restaurateur

Alice Waters opened her landmark Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971. She is an internationally-known chef, author, and restaurateur whose steadfast vision pioneered a culinary philosophy based on using only the freshest local ingredients, picked in season. She also created the Chez Panisse Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to establish a public school curriculum and school lunch program where growing, cooking and sharing food at the table gives students the knowledge and values to build a humane and sustainable future.

 She helped found the Yale Sustainable Food Project at Yale University and a similar project at the American Academy in Rome, and is the founder of the inaugural Slow Food Nation event in 2008.

In February 2008, Ms. Waters was a co-recipient, with Kofi Annan, of the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment's Global Environmental Citizen Award. Prior to that, she was honored with Audubon's Rachel Carson Award in 2004. Her most recent book is The Art of Simple Food.