ODNR Awards Top Conservation Honors
Cincinnati’s Helen Black inducted into Natural Resources Hall of Fame
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) awarded premier honors to Helen Black and other leading conservationists who have made outstanding contributions to the protection and enjoyment of the state's natural resources.
ODNR Director Sean D. Logan inducted Black into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame in recognition of her efforts to generate interest in the outdoors and promote resource conservation. The Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame recognizes a lifetime devoted to the preservation, protection and wise management of Ohio's natural resources.
“Helen Black has spent years fostering relationships that have led to extensive protections of green space in Ohio,” said Director Logan. “Her efforts have helped thousands of young people receive hands-on lessons in conversation, making her an exemplary selection for the Hall of Fame.”
A true environmental steward, Black has displayed her dedication to conservation and the protection of the environment through the establishment of several organizations. As a founding member of the Forest Preserve Council, which later became the Indian Hills Green Areas Committee, she helped preserve 25 percent of the Village of Indian Hills as green space. With her help, the Cincinnati Nature Center was also formed and currently serves 12,000 school children annually with hands-on lessons about ecology.
Additionally, Black is a founding member of the Greenacres Foundation, which, as part of its mission, encourages conservation and nature appreciation by providing the public with opportunities to study plant and animal life in their natural settings. The foundation serves 8,000 children each year. She continues to volunteer for the organization by monitoring stream-water quality and serving as a naturalist.
Black was a key individual in establishing the partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Cincinnati Museum Center at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve System in Adams County. The preserve has grown from 42 acres to 14,000 acres.
To top it off, Black continues to teach fifth graders in Cincinnati, which she has done for over 30 years. It is another way that she shares her passion and knowledge of botany and geology.
Also inducted into the Hall of Fame this year were the late Judge Guy B. Findley of Elyria, Tim Gerber of Worthington and Dean Sheldon, Jr. of Greenwich.
The Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame was established by ODNR in 1966. To date, 145 individuals have been accorded the honor, including the legendary Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), Ohio-born explorer John Wesley Powell, botanist Lucy Braun and conservationist/novelist Louis Bromfield.
During the awards ceremony, which was held at ODNR headquarters in Columbus, Director Logan also presented Cardinal Awards to Doug Adams of Camden, D’Arcy Egan of Marblehead, Larry Rosche of Kent and Tom Stockdale of Columbus. The Cardinal Award honors individuals and organizations demonstrating exceptional awareness and concern for ideals reflected in the department’s mission statement: to ensure a balance between the wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.