2012 Leopold Restoration Award Winners


Awards highlight career excellence and community involvement

The Leopold Restoration Awards program begins its second decade celebrating an exemplary career in ecological restoration and a group’s outstanding results involving the community in restoring an urban environment.

Jeff Nania, winner of the John T. Curtis award for career excellence in ecological restoration, has spent a lifetime restoring native ecosystems, gathering awards and recognition along the way. But more important, he has worked collaboratively to improve environments, programs and people, guided by Aldo Leopold’s land ethic.

Speaking on behalf of the judges, Darcy Kind notes: “Jeff Nania exemplifies the spirit of John Curtis. The characteristic about Jeff’s ecological restoration that strikes us as most commendable is his passionate approach in teaching and encouraging others to appreciate, protect and restore Wisconsin’s wetland communities.”

Read more about Jeff Nania.

The Milwaukee County Parks/UW Extension Natural Areas Program, winner of the Virginia M. Kline award for community-based ecological restoration, has successfully partnered with the community by creating opportunities for learning, support and participation among urban dwellers who may not have experience with nature.

The program works by building a connection between humans and the natural environment where they live—an important step toward helping them to develop a land ethic.

Again, speaking on behalf of the judges, Darcy Kind notes: “This program serves as an important role model because of its utilization of volunteers and partnering with organizations and local businesses to accomplish impressive restoration of natural resources in an urban area. Like Virginia Kline, Natural Areas Coordinator Brian Russart’s efforts have helped many understand that we can accomplish more to protect and restore the land by working together.”

Read more about The Milwaukee County Parks/UW Extension Natural Areas Program.