Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female). Photo: Melissa Groo
Held at the Greenwich Audubon Center each spring, the Environmental Leadership Awards Benefit honors teachers, business leaders, biologists, photographers, and overall visionaries who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to protecting birds and the places they need.
From spearheading community planting projects to writing books about biodiversity, awardees pass along their admiration and wonder for the outdoors to their friends, family, and local communities. Together with our flock, we celebrate their life work and their contributions to conservation.
2023 Environmental Leadership Awards Benefit
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Greenwich Audubon Center
6:30 p.m. — Cocktail Reception featuring customized tote bag screen printing, a wine pull, and Hawktail Cocktails
7:30 p.m. — Dinner and Program featuring bird trivia
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
A co-founder of our community's beloved Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch in 1972, Gary spearheaded the hiring of the first official hawk counter in 1985, a position which has become a career entry point for many young conservationists. He compiled the Greenwich-Stamford Christmas Bird Count for nearly 50 years, and co-founded the Greenwich Audubon Center's Summer Bird Count in 1976 -- one of the first in our country and first for Connecticut. Since the early 1960s, Gary has served either on the Advisory Board for the Greenwich Center or his local Audubon chapter.
Featured speaker and former Lifetime Achievement Award winner
Melissa was the Grand Prize Winner in the 2015 Audubon Photography Awards for her stunning image of a Great Egret fluffing out its feathers, and now serves as an advisor to Audubon on photography content and ethics in bird photography. She uses her photography to advance conservation, and is a fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers. Her work is currently on display in Kiernan Hall at the Greenwich Audubon Center.
Gary compiled the Greenwich-Stamford Christmas Bird Count for nearly 50 years, and co-founded the Greenwich Audubon Center's Summer Bird Count in 1976 - amongst many other accomplishments.
This year's Environmental Leadership Award celebrated the legacy of Connecticut's O'Brien Family, and the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to New Haven's Doreen Abubakar.