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2012 S.C. Environmental Awareness Award Winner Announced

Mar 30, 2013 | News

Tom Kester, a retired partner from the global auditing firm of KPMG LLP, was named winner of the 2012 S.C. Environmental Awareness Award during a ceremony May 15 at Harbison State Forest in Columbia. Mr. Kester, who serves as chairman and treasurer of the not-for-profit Conestee Foundation, was recognized for his volunteer efforts as part of the Foundation to acquire an old mill lakebed and turn it into a wildlife refuge and nature park for public use.

Lake Conestee Nature Park (LCNP) in Greenville consists of over 400 acres, which includes the original mill lakebed and three historic farm properties adjacent to the lakebed. There are over 10 miles of trails built within the park and two outdoor learning centers. The creation of LCNP spurred local governments to restore an abandoned minor league baseball stadium to little league standards, and build four new little league baseball fields, creating a first class tournament site.

There have been over 15 Master’s and Ph.D. studies done at LCNP. LCNP currently has grants from 3M and Michelin to design and install four instructional trail loops within the park. In addition, LCNP has been the recipient of numerous Eagle Scout projects. More information about the LCNP and the Conestee Foundation 
is available at www.conesteepark.com .

The S.C. General Assembly established the S.C. Environmental Awareness Award in 1992. The award is now in its 20th year recognizing outstanding contributions made toward the protection, conservation, 
and improvement of South Carolina’s natural resources. The S.C. Environmental Awareness Award Committee includes appointees from each of the following natural resource agencies: S.C. Department of Natural Resources, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, S.C. Forestry Commission, and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.