The Bayou Preservation Association will recognize three representatives of the public, nonprofit, and private sectors of the community for their outstanding commitment to aiding in the conservation, preservation, restoration or advocacy of Houston’s waterways with the Terry Hersey Bayou Stewardship Award at the association’s annual award luncheon May 8 at the Junior League of Houston.
The three honorees are Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, Houston Wilderness President & CEO Deborah January-Bevers, J.D., and Texas Master Naturalist and environmental services consultant Dick Benoit.
Founded 51 years ago by Houston resident Terry Hershey and other individuals concerned with protecting Houston’s bayous, the Bayou Preservation Association is dedicated to protecting, restoring and celebrating the natural richness of all of our region’s bayous and streams, through stewardship, leadership, education and outreach.
For more information about the luncheon, to become a sponsor, or to purchase a ticket, go to www.bayoupreservation.org or call 713-529-6443.
About the Award Recipients
Jack Cagle, an attorney and former judge who is serving his second four-year term as a Harris County commissioner, is being recognized for leading Precinct 4 in developing a number of innovative projects, including the Spring Creek Greenway, the largest urban greenway in the United States, and the Birnamwood Drive roadway, the first project in the state to employ low impact development principles for storm water management. An avid hiker and paddler, he also has a following for his “Lewis and Clark Adventures,” leading groups on walks and paddling trips down many miles of bayou greenways.
Deborah January-Bevers, President & CEO of Houston Wilderness, is being honored for her more than 30 years of working to improve the environment and quality of life in Houston and Texas. She was extensively involved in the planning of the Bayou Greenways 2020, a public/private partnership establishing trails and open spaces along 250 miles of 10 waterways that was approved by Harris County voters in 2012. In addition, she has been instrumental in developing the Gulf-Houston Regional Conservation Plan to protect and restore native grasslands or woodlands in the 50 watersheds with streams flowing into Galveston Bay.
Dick Benoit, who served as a volunteer water quality monitor for 14 years, established the Wetland Restoration Team with the Texas Coastal Watershed Program that engages volunteers in wetland restoration projects. A statewide leader within the Texas Master Naturalist Program, Benoit is the first person in the State of Texas to have achieved 15,000 hours of volunteer service in the program. In 2001, he founded the Galveston Bay Area Master Naturalist Training Program, which has trained more than 400 volunteers and 125 teachers. He also has served as a bayou interpreter on Armand Bayou Nature Center’s boat trips for the public – a program he expanded by teaching other volunteers to serve as boat trip educators.