The Garden Club of America will award its Cynthia Pratt Laughlin Medal for outstanding achievement in environmental protection to the head of the Bay Area’s largest private land trust, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Audrey Rust, president of the Peninsula Open Space Trust since 1987, helped raise $80 million to buy and preserve land. She also fought to place Bair Island, a 1,600-acre wetlands site near San Francisco International Airport, under the group’s protection.
“Audrey has taken on major programs to preserve lands when other organizations were unwilling to take the risk,” Colburn S. Wilbur, retired head of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, told the Chronicle.
The trust protects more than 40,000 acres in the Bay area. Last year the group completed a three-year, $33.4 million campaign to protect an additional 12,500 acres of open space.
Rust told the Chronicle on Thursday that she was “overjoyed” to win the award. Previous winners include David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard and a noted conservationist; and Patrick Noonan, a former president of The Nature Conservancy.