Audubon honors environmental visionaries

Awards recipients Kevin and Joni Kimberlin at Audubon Connecticut’s Awards Dinner in Greenwich.

Awards recipients Kevin and Joni Kimberlin at Audubon Connecticut’s Awards Dinner in Greenwich.

Nature lovers united recently at a sold out event at the Belle Haven Club in Greenwich where Audubon Connecticut honored Eaddo Kiernan, Joni Steele Kimberlin and Kevin Kimberlin for their contributions to conservation during its annual Environmental Leadership Awards Dinner.

Joni and Kevin Kimberlin were presented with the Environmental Leadership Award for their far-sighted support of Audubon’s education mission. The Kimberlin Nature Education Center currently hosts more than 7,000 students each year and has become a kindling force for intelligent conservation action since its establishment in 2003. The Kimberlins are leaders fostering education and a healthy environment through their philanthropic and volunteer activities.

Eaddo Kiernan was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for being central to the Audubon Greenwich Nature of Discovery Campaign that built the Audubon Greenwich Kimberlin Nature Education Center 10 years ago. Ms. Kiernan’s greatest gift has been to ensure that all the conservation organizations in which she participates have strong educational programs to amplify their environmental mission. She has done this as a board member at both Audubon Greenwich and Trout Unlimited, and through helping to establish Stepping Stones, the children’s science museum in Norwalk.

More than 340 people attended the awards event, including Fairfield and Westchester notables such as co-chairs Andrea de Cholnoky, Roxanne Vanderbilt and Jessica Zirinis; Sonia & Paul Tudor Jones II; Late Show with David Letterman Executive Producer Rob Burnett; National Audubon Society Board Chair Holt Thrasher; Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold; former Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Jayni Chase and former State Rep. Lile Gibbons.

“With over $800,000 raised at this event, Audubon’s strategic initiatives here in Connecticut now have the necessary funding to succeed,” said Audubon Connecticut Board Chair Marty Cannon. “The staff and donors behind this organization have never been so motivated to make a difference.”

“This means our education work throughout all our centers will not only inspire people with a love of nature, but it will also guide them into more direct conservation actions and more civic engagement on policy issues,” said Audubon Greenwich Board Chair Lauren Hampton.

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