Channel 2 WSB-TV and The Trust For Public Land Announce Finalists for Atlanta's 2016 Cox Conserves Heroes Awards Program

10/05/2016

Public asked to vote; $20,000 to be donated to local nonprofits

ATLANTA, Oct. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Channel 2 WSB-TV and The Trust for Public Land are recognizing volunteers who are creating, preserving or enhancing Atlanta's outdoor spaces. Chris Beck, Linda Cotten Taylor and Pauline Drake have been selected as finalists for Atlanta's 2016 Cox Conserves Heroes program, and the public is being asked to vote now through Oct. 26 at wsbtv.com/coxconservesheroes.

A total of $20,000 will be donated to local environmental nonprofits on behalf of the three finalists. Each finalist has secured a $5,000 donation for his or her environmental nonprofit of choice. The finalists are now competing for an additional $5,000 – bringing the total award to $10,000 for the winner's nonprofit of choice. The winner will be chosen through an online public vote.

Atlanta's 2016 Cox Conserves Heroes Finalists:

Chris Beck has volunteered at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve (CSNP) for more than a decade. CSNP, located in Decatur, is a public area managed by volunteers. Beck has coordinated hundreds of volunteers, led fundraising efforts and managed capital improvement projects. Along with constructing a boardwalk, tool shed and raw timber pavilion, he engages Scouts and promotes the reduction of invasive species. His nonprofit of choice is CSNP.

Linda Cotten Taylor believes that park maintenance and improvement is everyone's duty versus just a few individuals. She brought this belief to life by securing funding to make improvements at Chapel Hill Park that include a fitness stations, playground fishing pier and signage. In addition to being the park's lead fundraiser, she facilitates volunteer cleanups and works with the Parks Department on security issues. Her nonprofit of choice is Park Pride.

Pauline Drake fought to acquire conserve and develop Jennie Drake Park in northwest Atlanta. Her mother began the cause when construction threatened longtime greenspace, but she passed away before seeing her dream come to reality. Drake took over the fight and spent four years acquiring the land for the park and creating a master plan that includes forest restoration, new park entrances, a loop trail. The work has led to the park being recognized as an Audubon Society Wildlife Sanctuary. Her nonprofit of choice is Park Pride.

Previous recipients of Atlanta's Cox Conserves Heroes award are Tom Branch, Bob Scott, John Gordon, Donna Shearer, Na'Taki Osborne-Jelks, Angel Poventud and Don Wells.

Financial support from Cox Conserves Heroes has helped create community gardens, build trails, plant trees, provide environmental education and maintain parks, as well as create outdoor classrooms and certified wildlife habitats at area schools throughout Metro Atlanta.

The national Cox Conserves Heroes program was created in 2008 through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Channel 2 WSB-TV. The partnership stems from Cox Enterprises' national Cox Conserves sustainability program that focuses on reducing waste and energy consumption, conserving water and inspiring eco-friendly behavior.

For more information, visit CoxConservesHeroes.com or Facebook.

Social Media: #CoxConservesHeroes and #CoxConservesHero

About Channel 2 WSB-TV:

The ABC Affiliate is part of Cox Media Group and ranks as Atlanta's number one local television station. The station also operates its website, wsbtv.com, its mobile site, wap.wsbtv.com, and airs MeTV on its digital channel 2.2.

About The Trust for Public Land:

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.  Millions of people live within a one-half mile walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.  To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit http://www.tpl.org.

About Cox Conserves:

Launched in 2007 by Chairman Jim Kennedy, Cox Conserves is Cox Enterprises' national sustainability program. Cox Conserves focuses on reducing waste and energy consumption, as well as conserving water. The program engages each of the company's major subsidiaries (Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group) and encourages Cox Enterprises' 60,000 employees and their families to engage in eco-friendly practices.

SOURCE Cox Conserves

For further information: Kristen Anderson, The Trust for Public Land, 415-800-5178, kristen.anderson@tpl.org; Elizabeth Olmstead, Cox Enterprises, 678-645-0762, elizabeth.olmstead@coxinc.com

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