Tuesday night, Mary McConnell, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Indiana, received an Exemplar Award from Ball State University’s Council on the Environment (COTE) for her conservation work in Indiana as well as for spearheading the Efroymson Conservation Center, the Conservancy’s new energy-efficient headquarters in Indianapolis.
COTE Exemplar Awards recognize individuals or groups with significant accomplishments promoting the sustainable use of natural resources or the protection of ecological systems. McConnell received her award at the Tenth Anniversary COTE Dinner Celebration in Cardinal Hall on the Ball State campus.
In 2000, McConnell was named state director for Indiana. Under Mary’s leadership, the Conservancy has protected over 27,800 acres of natural lands in Indiana, including forests, wetlands and prairies. Major river projects are currently underway on the Wabash, Tippecanoe, and Blue rivers.
Through Mary’s driving initiative, the award-winning Efroymson Conservation Center was opened in 2010. The building, on track to receive a LEED platinum certification, was the first Conservancy constructed and owned office building to be designed and built to achieve the highest level of energy efficiency and sustainability. Graduates of Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning were engaged in the most creative dimensions of the building’s design and landscaping. The grounds are planted entirely with Indiana native plants, and the site serves as a national demonstration model for sustainable planning in the conservation movement.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.