Image Credit: The Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Published May 21, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
During the 56th Annual Conservation Achievement Awards, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation honored fifteen individuals and companies across the state for their efforts in conservation. The award ceremony was held virtually on May 19, and three Hamilton County residents were among those recognized.
The residents were Greg Vital from Georgetown, both Libby and Frank Duff, and Cash Daniels from Chattanooga.
The Tennessee Wildlife Federation is a nonprofit dedicated to conserving natural resources and wildlife across the state.
Chief development officer for the federation, Kendall McCarter, said, “This is the federation’s 56th year hosting the awards and our 75th anniversary as an organization. Being our 75th anniversary and after a year when the great outdoors were more important to our daily lives than usual, we are eager to recognize and celebrate those who have gone above and beyond for Tennessee’s natural places.”
There were awards from Conservation Communicator and Conservation Educator to the Z. Cartter Patten and Forest Conservationist awards.
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Greg Vital was given the award for Wildlife Conservationist of the Year. He is the chairman, founder, and president of Morning Pointe Senior Living and the Independent Healthcare Properties.
“Vital’s love for conservation began with his love for land,” the TNWF award page said. “Vital understands the importance of balancing economic growth with the preservation and conservation of land for wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation. Vital is chairman of the board for The Land of Trust for Tennessee. He owns a 300-acre buffalo farm in Hamilton County. Originally a cattle ranch, Vital has helped wildlife thrive by creating ideal habitat for game species and creating designated wildlife areas, including 90-acres dedicated as a land conservation area.”
Vital has used The Land Trust for Tennessee to conserve over 50,000 acres in the southeast region of the state. In addition, he continues to help grow the wildlife, forestry, and fishery programs at Cleveland State Community College.
Libby and Frank Duff received the Chairman’s Award for their work with the federation.
According to the award page, “Libby and Frank Duff truly exemplify what it means to be a conservationist. Not only have they generously supported many conservation organizations over the years, but they have also spent countless hours enhancing their 200-acre farm to serve as a wildlife haven for a number of species of fish, bird, and mammal. This includes creating fisheries, installing birdhouses, and planting more than 25,000 trees to restore the native food web. Libby is a tireless champion for the Federation and continually advocates for policy initiatives and philanthropic activities that benefit Tennessee’s wild places.”
Frank also spent ten years working as a board member for the federation.
Cash Daniels was awarded Youth Conservationist of the Year for the third time. He’s often called “The Conservation Kid” by the federation.
“At only 11 years old, Daniels routinely organizes monthly litter clean-ups with volunteers along Tennessee’s rivers,” the award page said. “When COVID-19 limited large gatherings in 2020, Daniels wasn’t deterred. He took a more socially distant approach and still managed to remove nearly 3,000 pounds of trash from the Tennessee River. Daniels recently founded a nonprofit that helps spread awareness about litter pollution and spends his time sharing the importance of our natural resources with state officials, businesses, and schools.”
A full list of award recipients can be found on the Tennessee Wildlife Federation website.