Foundation Honors Two Conservation Icons
By: Kyle Grammatica
The Foundation’s annual gala A Night for Nature is fast approaching! This year’s event honors two conservation icons: Paul Tudor Jones and Jack Nicklaus.
Paul Tudor Jones has been a giant in conservation for over three decades, focusing particularly on Florida. Along with George Barley, Jones founded the Everglades Foundation in 1995 to protect the Everglades and the plant and animal species that call it home. As co-founder of the Everglades Foundation, a Board Chair, and a continuous Board member, Jones has dedicated twenty-five years of his life fighting for the protection of this natural wonder. Jones also helped establish the George Barley Water Prize, which will award $10 million to the person or group who delivers the most cost-effective new technology to clean polluted fresh water and reverse a global environmental disaster that has been years in the making.
Jones has also served on the Board of Directors for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) for 25 years and was chairman for three years. During his time on the Board, NFWF’s budget increased from $50 million to $500 million annually allowing them to fund more than 15,000 conservation grants in all 50 states and around the world. In 2016 Paul received the Audubon Medal, the highest award the Audubon Society bestows and given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of conservation and environmental protection.
Jack Nicklaus has been an outdoorsman and an environmentalist since he was a young boy. He grew up playing sports and spending time outdoors, becoming an avid fisherman. Nicklaus combined his love of the environment with his love of golf when he created Nicklaus Design, a golf course design firm. Nicklaus Design has created 425 golf courses in 45 countries, always working to enhance the natural habitat. At least 40 Nicklaus Design courses in the United States—a fifth of the firm’s US total—are members of the Audubon International Signature Program recognizing that they maintain the highest level of sustainable design and development. Nicklaus has also received several awards for his environmental leadership and stewardship, including the John James Audubon Special Recognition Award for his environmentally sensitive work at TPC of Michigan.
Nicklaus Design creates minimalist golf courses that require the least amount of input from fertilizers and plant protective materials. For instance, their courses use paspalum grasses, which reduce irrigation costs and are more tolerant of certain waters, including saltwater. The courses also employ the use of organic pesticides and internal drainage systems that recycle and direct runoff to the proper areas.