New York, NY-Eddie Bridges of Greensboro, N.C. was selected as the 2012 Field & Stream Conservation Hero of the Year during a gala event in Washington D.C. on October 4. Bridges was one of seven finalists for the award which honors volunteers involved in grassroots projects to preserve the land, water and wildlife vital to sportsman's pursuits. Bridges, who is featured in the October issue of Field & Stream, walked away with a new Toyota Tundra and $5,000, all made possible by the generosity and support of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.
Bridges, who is 78, has dedicated many years to his volunteer conservation work. He proposed and helped develop the North Carolina waterfowl stamp program that has generated more than $5 million and in 1994 Bridges founded the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Fund, an organization he continues to work with. "We have no paid staff. We're here because the work is so gratifying," says Bridges. The organization's goal is to supplement underfunded state-run land acquisition and habitat preservation programs. They have already put $1 million toward local projects, including underwriting costs to keep a wildlife education center open to 3,000 monthly visitors.
"Eddie's ambitious project is a prefect example of the hard work outdoorsmen are willing to put in to protect America's wildlife and wild places." said Anthony Licata, Editorial Director of Field & Stream. "The work he is doing in North Carolina will benefit outdoorsmen for generations, and we're proud to honor him. "
The 2012 Field & Stream Heroes of Conservation Awards were celebrated at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, October 4. Country musician Tyler Farr entertained the crowd following a ceremony where each of the seven finalists was presented with $5,000 toward their conservation projects.
"This is a very important program to Toyota because it acknowledges individuals who go out of their way to make the environment a better place," said Keith Dahl, National Marketing Manager for Toyota. "These people aren't looking for gratitude or recognition. Instead, they work tirelessly because they want to make a difference - for our generation and generations to come. We take great pride in being able to spotlight their efforts on a national stage."
The Field & Stream Heroes of Conservation Awards honor everyday outdoorsmen who volunteer their time and effort to hunting and fishing-related conservation projects. The magazine highlights three conservation volunteers in each issue and selects the most notable examples as finalists for the awards. Since the introduction of the program in 2005, the magazine has been proud to profile and support the conservation efforts of nearly 200 men and women. For complete details, including videos of this year's heroes please visit www.FieldandStream.com/heroes
About Field & Stream
Field & StreamÂ, The World's Leading Outdoor Magazine, is the world's largest and most recognized outdoor publication. Devoted to the complete outdoor experience and lifestyle, Field & Stream (www.fieldandstream.com
) gives its readers the knowledge and inspiration to pursue the sports they love. It celebrates the outdoor experience with great stories, compelling photography, and sound advice, while honoring the traditions hunters and fishermen have passed down for generations. Established in 1895, Field & Stream is the country's largest-circulation special-interest magazine and is published 11 times per year by the Bonnier Corporation. The Bonnier Corp. (www.bonniercorp.com
) is one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in the United States and is the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences with more than 40 special-interest magazines and with related multimedia projects and events.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of nearly 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers which sold more than 1.64 million vehicles in 2011. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com