Gov. Deval Patrick Named Conservationist of the Year

Governor honored for record-setting pace of land and water conservation.

BOSTON, MA | December 13, 2012

The Nature Conservancy today announced the selection of Governor Deval Patrick for its annual Conservationist of the Year award.

“I am humbled to receive this honor, and proud of the work we have done to protect over 100,000 acres of land and create or improve parks in over 310 communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick.

“Here in Massachusetts we know that conserving land, and investing in open space and parks will create a stronger, healthier Commonwealth for generations to come,” Patrick said.

“Governor Patrick is establishing a legacy of conservation accomplishments that are nationally significant and will benefit the people of Massachusetts for many years,” said Wayne Klockner, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.

Under Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts has:

  • Conserved among the highest land area of any Governor, and made nature more accessible to more people by providing the resources to protect more than 100,000 acres of land; creating over 100 new parks – many urban – with an estimated million visitors each year; maximizing public benefit on state forests and parks by formally designating forest reserves, parklands, and woodlands; and establishing a conservation tax credit.
  • Supported policies to protect and restore our water resources; improving the health of rivers and streams by fostering a record number of dam removals; streamlining restoration regulations and adopting streamflow standards; and creating a first-in-the-nation Ocean Management Plan.
  • Led on climate change policy by reducing greenhouse gas emissions; with an aggressive state plan and consistent support for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI); and preparation for climate change impacts with coastal adaptation efforts and a statewide plan.

“Governor Patrick is a strong conservationist, working for both the people of Massachusetts and the natural resources that we all depend upon,” Klockner said.

The Conservationist of the Year award was created in 2005 to recognize the efforts of conservation leaders in protecting the state’s lands and waters. Nature Conservancy staff and trustees periodically select an individual to honor who has made a significant impact on conservation in Massachusetts. Prior honorees include:

2010: Mary Griffin, Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game

2008: Ian Bowles, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

2008: Bernie McHugh, Volunteer Coordinator, Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition

2007: Henry Woolsey, Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

2006: Rep. John Olver, 1st District Congressman

2005: Robert O’Connor, Director of Land and Forest Conservation for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

Learn more about the Conservationist of the Year Award.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Misty Edgecomb
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts

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