OREANDA-NEWS. Cox and The Trust for Public Land today named Alan Ford as Virginia's 2016 Cox Conserves Hero. The Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society, Ford's nonprofit beneficiary, will receive $10,000. Representing Fairfax County, Hampton Roads and Roanoke, three finalists were nominated by the public and chosen by local judging panels. The finalists then competed in an online public vote for the title of Virginia's Cox Conserves Hero.

Ford is passionate about the environment and local habitats. He educates the public about native and invasive plants and the importance of watershed management. Ford has volunteered thousands of hours across multiple environmental organizations to protect and restore the environment.

The two runners-up will each receive $5,000 for their nonprofits of choice. Bonnie Kersta, representing Hampton Roads, selected Chesapeake Bay Foundation as her nonprofit of choice; Roanoke finalist Ron McCorkle chose Roanoke Community Garden Association.

Heidi Ketler, Brian Batteiger, Bill Gordge, Anne Little and Chris Clifford are previous recipients of Virginia's Cox Conserves Heroes award. 

As either a finalist or winner's nonprofit of choice, the following Virginia organizations have also received financial support from the Cox Conserves Heroes program: Blue Ridge Land Conservancy, Downtown Greens Friends of Green Spring Gardens, Friends of Norfolk's Environment, Herndon Environmental Network, Lynnhaven River Now, Newport News Green Foundation, Park Partners, Pathfinders for Greenways, Roanoke Valley Chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway, South Norfolk Neighborhood Watch, Tree Fredericksburg,  Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission, Virginia Beach Parks, VB Clean Community Volunteers and Recreation Foundation and Virginia Living Museum.  

Cox Conserves Heroes was created through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications, to honor local environmental volunteers. 

Through the national Cox Conserves Heroes program, more than $650,000 has been donated to environmental nonprofits and more than 150 volunteers have been honored. Cox Conserves Heroes also takes place in Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Washington.

About Cox Communications: 
Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, Internet, telephone and home security and automation services over its own nationwide IP network. The third-largest U.S. cable company, Cox serves approximately 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and digital media advertising. Cox is known for its pioneering efforts in broadband, voice and commercial services, industry-leading customer care and its outstanding workplaces. For eight years, Cox has been recognized as the top operator for women by Women in Cable Telecommunications; Cox has ranked among DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity 11 times.