John Bunker Sands Wetland Center wins conservation award

May 25, 2022
The group won the 2022 Texas Leopold Conservation Award for its dedication to conservation management on private, working land.

The 2022 Texas Leopold Conservation Award® has gone to the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center,

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes farmers, ranchers and forestland owners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on private, working land.

The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center is a unique public private partnership between North Texas Municipal Water District and The Rosewood Corporation to provide education, research, and conservation opportunities pertaining to water reuse and supply, wetland systems and wildlife habitat.

In Texas, the award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, which is a group focused on voluntary conservation, in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Lone Star Land Steward Awards program.

The state’s highest honor for private land conservation and its $10,000 award will be presented to the director of the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center John DeFillipo, representatives of The Rosewood Corporation, North Texas Municipal Water District, and Bunker’s family at the Lone Star Steward Awards banquet on May 25.

“Our vision is to engage students in conservation, encourage stewardship of natural resources, and inspire sustainable solutions. On behalf of our wetland center team, board of directors, and founding partners, we are honored to receive this recognition,” DeFillipo said.

“The recipients of this award are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.

The first Texas Leopold Conservation Award was presented to Richards Ranch of Jacksboro in 2005. San Pedro Ranch of Carrizo Springs received the 2021 award.

The Leopold Conservation Award in Texas is made possible thanks to contributions from American Farmland Trust, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Lee and Ramona Bass, Dixon Water Foundation, Sand County Foundation, and McDonald’s.