From left to right: Gary Hebert, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast board chair Mike Knupp, Brenda Russell, Conservation Foundation president Christine Johnson and Phil St John

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast recently honored Gary Hebert, Brenda Russell and Phil St. John, the founders of Friends of Keep Woods, with its highest honor, the Conservation Partner of the Year award, and also recognized Jan Dorsett as its Volunteer of the Year. Hebert, Russell and St. John worked with the foundation, grassroots supporters and Manatee County government to set aside 33 acres of land, which, combined with a donation of 11.6 acres from the estate of Carlton Bergstresser, led to the protection of more than 44 acres on the Braden River. Dorsett was recognized for her substantial volunteer efforts, including her role in keeping the Conservation Foundation’s database accurate, assisting with events and helping with plantings at Bay Preserve.

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