Cox Communications and The Trust for Public Land named Shawn Redfield as Arizona’s 2016 Cox Conserves Hero. The program is sponsored locally by Desert Botanical Garden, and as Redfield’s nonprofit of choice, Arizona Trail Association, will receive $10,000 on his behalf. The three finalists were chosen by a judging panel and then competed in an online public vote to be named Arizona’s Cox Conserves Hero.
Redfield, a Phoenix resident, is the overall program’s 50th winner. The program takes place across the nation in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Washington and Virginia. The winners come from eclectic backgrounds, including engineers, entrepreneurs, retirees, students, teachers and veterans. Their volunteer projects are also diverse and range from recycling to urban gardens to shoreline restoration and trail creation, among others.
Redfield serves as a fulltime volunteer trail director along the 800-mile path from Mexico to Utah. He connects people with land by engaging and inspiring volunteers of all ages to care for the Arizona Trail. Redfield has replaced 24 gates in southern Arizona over the past two years in addition to conducting trail work and installing signage to ensure visitors have a positive experience.
The two runners-up each receive $5,000 for their nonprofits of choice. Mesa’s Dennis McClung selected Garden Pool, and Phoenix’s Tim Flood chose Audubon Arizona.
Scottsdale’s Melinda Gulick, Tucson’s Brad Lancaster and Marilyn Hanson, and Phoenix’s Greg Clark are previous recipients of Arizona’s Cox Conserves Heroes award.
As either a finalist or winner’s nonprofit of choice, the following Arizona organizations have also received financial support from the Cox Conserves Heroes program: Arizona Native Plant Society, Desert Harvesters, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Mission Garden, Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, Phoenix Mountains Preservation, Tigermountain Foundation and Wild At Heart.
Combined across the country, the 50 Cox Conserves Heroes have made a significant impact on the environment. Here’s a snapshot of their contributions:
- Planting 3,500 new trees,
- Removing 1,400 tons of litter,
- Facilitating 70 public cleanups,
- Saving 500 burrowing owls,
- Protecting 30 beaches,
- Protecting 107,000 acres of land,
- Creating and maintaining 850 miles of trails,
- Volunteering more than 6,000 hours,
- Inspiring 1000s of children, and
- Eliminating pesticides at 120 acres of playing fields.