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GCA Medal Recipients: Cynthia Pratt Laughlin Medal

2024 Save the Sound

For outstanding achievement in environmental protection and the maintenance of the quality of life

2023 Robert J. (Bob) Berkebile

For his outstanding conservation advocacy and helping to form the US Green Building Council and its LEED rating system.

2022 The Parklands of Floyds Fork

Presented to The Parklands of Floyds Fork, a model for 21st century public parks dedicated to sustainability for future generations.   


2021 Nainoa Thompson

In recognition of a visionary, educator, and steward of the earth whose unparalleled dedication and leadership is an inspiration to generations of voyagers worldwide. 

2020 Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

In appreciation for the dedication, creativity and leadership demonstrated through land preservation and environmental stewardship in the Southern Appalachian Mountains for present and future generations.

2019 Brian Vogt

For extraordinary leadership in transforming the Denver Botanic Gardens into a world-class institution.

2018 Save The Bay

For decades of dedication to the protection of San Francisco Bay from industrialization, pollution, and shoreline development.

2017 Kristine McDivitt Tompkins

For unparalleled work in protecting and restoring millions of acres of Patagonian wildness and creating parklands where nature, scientific research, and human enterprise exist in harmony. 

2016 William D. Brinton

For his inspirational leadership in protecting scenic beauty, dedication to controlling the proliferation of billboards and consistent policy of unreservedly sharing his vast knowledge about complex sign legislation with municipalities and organizations around the country.

2014 Legacy Parks Foundation

For extraordinary efforts to preserve East Tennessee's unique landscape and for enabling all the enjoy it in every regard.

2013 Frederick S. Middleton III

Presented to Frederick S. Middleton III for 25 years of using the power of the law to protect the environment, through the founding and leadership of the Southern Environmental Law center.

2012 Mary Ross Fisher

James River Garden Club, Zone VII

Presented to Rossie and Sandy Fisher

In recognition of their lifelong dedication to environmental stewardship as pioneers in the field of organic and sustainable farming through their work at Brookview Farm.

2011 Pollinator Partnership

Awarded to Pollinator Partnership for effectively championing pollinators by building awareness of their importance and promoting pollinator-friendly legislation, scientific research and horticultural practices.

2010 Deen Day Sanders

Presented to Deen Day Sanders, For a lifetime of benevolent support for institutions and causes that nurture and protect our planet and its people.

2009 U.S. Green Building Council

Presented to U.S. Green Building Council, S. Fedrizzi, President and CEO

In recognition of outstanding leadership in creating the LEED system that radically transforms our building standards and provides a powerful framework to protect our environment.

2008 Wendell E. Berry

Presented to Wendell E. Berry, internationally celebrated writer and thinker, farmer and an active prophet in our time, on behalf of this earth.  His writing is grounded in the specifics of his life as a Kentucky farmer.

2006 Sydney Shafroth Macy

Presented to Sydney Shafroth Macy, Regional Vice President and State Director of the Conservation Fund in Colorado.  She has a remarkable career in preserving over 70 parcels of land encompassing over 70,000 acres.  She spearheaded the initiative for use of lottery proceeds for land conservation.

2004 Jean Wallace Douglas

Presented to Jean Wallace Douglas in recognition of a lifetime devoted to the vision and practiice of sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and conservation of the earth's natural resources.

2003 Eleanor Torrey West

For preserving, in this era of unchecked consumption, rampant development, and needless waste, Osabaw Island Georgia's 26,000 acres of ecological importance and pristine beauty.

2002 Hylah Boyd

The Tuckahoe Garden Club of Westhampton, Zone VII

Presented to Hylah Haile Boyd, who has tirelessly served the Commonwealth of Virginia in her efforts to protect and preserve scenic treasures.  Billboard removal, preserving open space, implementing Treasured Trees Distinction Awards, the designation of Scenic Byways regionally and nationally are other projects undertaken by Mrs. Boyd.

2000 Audrey Rust

Presented to Audrey Rust, Presdient of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, whose inspired leadership in the field of land preservation has permanently protected over 36,000 acres in the fast growing Silicon Valley.

1998 John A. Williams

For "setting the standard" for beautiful landscaping for all areas of development.

1996 Helen C. Fenske

Presented to Helen C. Fenske for her superior leadership and tireless efforts to make New Jersey's Great Swamp a National Wildlife Refuge and her deep involvement in environmental issues for thirty-five years.

1994 Janet MacDonald Bates

Presented to Janet MacDonald Bates, citizen-advocate, whose tireless leadership and dedication to environmental protection, restored the health and beauty of Lake Waramaug, Connecticut.

1992 David Packard

Presented for his ongoing commitment to researching and fostering the growth of native plants and wildlife in California, and encouraging long-term national efforts in the areas of conservation and the preservation of natural habitats.

1990 Dr. Kerry S. Walter

Presented for his leadership in the development of a computerized plant conservation data system.  He combines a strong botanical and horticultural knowledge with innovative computer skills to allow major botanical gardens to play a key role in saving many of the most threatened plant species.

1988 Maureen Ogden

In recognition of her tireless and effective environmental advocacy, and her sponsorship of innovative legislation to protect the natural resources and beauty of the State of New Jersey.

1986 Wallace C. Dayton

For his exceptional contribution to environmental conservation both in this country and abroad.

1985 The Outdoor Circle of Hawaii

For playing a dominant role in protecting Hawaii's environment, conserving its natural resources and beautifying Honolulu for over 70 years.

1984 Patrick Noonan

For insuring America's enjoyment of its magnificient natural heritage, especially through his outstanding service as President of the Nature Conservancy from 1972 to 1980.

1983 Mrs. Willis L. M. Reese

In recognition of her unflagging efforts and expertise in bringing about, after a 17-year struggle, the "Storm King Mountain Settlement", and her continuing concern for the Hudson River Valley.

1982 Richard W. Lawrence, Jr.

In appreciation of his nationally significant service to conservation, and for his continued effort to conserve for future generations the fragile heritage of natural beauty.

1981 Eugene P. Odum

For pioneering in new approaches to the study of ecology and through public education using his knowledge to help create environmental changes that improve the quality of life.

1980 Mr. Richard Gordon Gray, Sr.

In recognition of his concern for the quality of fresh water and for establishing the Freshwater Biological Research Foundation.