For immediate release: November 18, 2015
Media contact: Andrew Walker, Foundation President & CEO, 941 809-7805 or awalker@wildlifeflorida.org

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BlueGreen Event honors Carlton Ward Jr for Conservation Leadership in Florida; raises over $300,000 to support youth and wildlife in South Florida

Florida native Carlton Ward Jr. was honored Saturday as the winner of the 2015 BlueGreen Award for Conservation Leadership in Florida. He was recognized before a crowd of nearly 400 during the 4rd Annual BlueGreen Event at “Alligator Ron” Bergeron’s Green Glades Cowboy Ranch in Weston.

“Carlton has been instrumental in helping develop a vision for a strong connection between wildlife and conservation with his Florida Corridor vision,” said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, the nonprofit that honored Ward. “Without this type of vison and big picture thinking, effective conservation in Florida is much tougher.”

“It’s an honor to receive this award and I’m proud to work alongside organizations like the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida to conserve the economic, cultural and recreational value of our wildlife resources so that they will available and healthy for Florida’s next generation,” Ward said.

The annual BlueGreen fundraising event brought in more than $300,000, and will be used to help renovate the Everglades Youth Conservation Camp. This historic, wildlife-oriented camp is located near Palm Beach on the Corbett Wildlife Management Area, and has served youths in South Florida since 1960.

The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida is planning to expand the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN) across the state with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Research has shown that today’s kids spend less time in the outdoors than any previous generation but programs like ‘Creating the Next Generation that Cares’ aim to change that.

“This year’s event was a huge success thanks to the generosity of so many people. I am pleased and thankful to all our sponsors, conservation organizations, the outdoors industry and all the attendees” said Barreto. “It was especially gratifying having Governor Rick and First Lady Ann Scott attend for the first time. We sincerely thank them for being so generous with their time and their support for our youth efforts in Florida, so that future generations will be able to appreciate and enjoy their outdoor heritage.”

While this year’s event was outstanding, Barreto emphasized that there’s still more work to do. “The tremendous success of this year’s BlueGreen Event is a great way to wrap up 2015,” Barreto said. “Now it’s time to look ahead and set our sights on 2016. Our youth and the future of our state’s wildlife depend on it.”

About the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida

The FWFF is a 501c3 nonprofit started in 1994 as the citizen support group for what is now the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Its mission is to partner with FWC to ensure the conservation and enhancement of Florida’s fish and wildlife resources so they survive and thrive for current and future generations of Florida residents and visitors. Remember, Florida is like no other place on earth; working together we can keep it that way. For more information on the WFF visit http://www.wildlifeflorida.org. To stay up-to-date with its latest news, join the WFF Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WildlifeFoundationofFlorida. The Foundation’s volunteer board includes: Rodney Barreto, Jack Curlett, Carlos Alfonso, Steve Swindal, Kathy Barco, Tucker Frederickson, Gary Nicklaus, Seth McKeel, John Pope, Connie Parker, Bruce Popham, Donna Rawson, Nick Wiley, and Daphne Wood.

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