Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications in Arizona, and The Trust for Public Land have opened the nomination process for the Cox Conserves Heroes program. The program serves to honor local environmental volunteers who create, preserve or enhance shared outdoor spaces in their communities. The selected Arizona winner will designate a local environmental nonprofit of their choice to receive a $10,000 grant from the James M. Cox Foundation. 

Nominations, including self-nominations, of Arizona environmental volunteers are being accepted by completing a brief online form on now through July 31, 2019.  Nominations are also being accepted from other Cox markets in California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington. A panel of local and environmental leaders will select the winner in each market. The winners will then become candidates for the national title, with the national winner’s designated nonprofit receiving $50,000 from the James M. Cox Foundation. 

Nominees must meet the following eligibility criteria:

• Their activity creates, protects and/or beautifies an outdoor community space. 

• Their activity is on a volunteer basis and is not part of paid employment.

• Their activity inspires others to engage in community conservation.

Celebrating its 11th year, the Cox Conserves Heroes program recognizes Arizonans working in their community to make our state a better place. In Arizona, twenty-one volunteers have been recognized by the Cox Conserves program and more than $115,000 granted to organizations in recognition of their environmental stewardship.  Arizonans Melinda GullickMcDowell  Sonoran Conservancy; Brad Lancaster, Desert Harvesters & Greek Infrastructure Planning; and Greg Clark, Wild at Heart; are a few of the previous recipients of the Cox Conserves Heroes award.  

As either a finalist or winner’s nonprofit of choice, the following Arizona organizations have received financial support from the Cox Conserves Heroes program: Arizona Native Plant Society, Desert Harvesters, Living Streets Alliance, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Mission Garden, Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, Phoenix Mountains Preservation, Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center, Tiger Mountain Foundation, Trout Unlimited Arizona State Council, Wild At Heart, Arizona Trail Association.  

National voting starts Oct. 1, and anyone can nominate at the local level or cast a ballot for their favorite finalist in the national competition.  The winner of the national competition will be announced in late October.