The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has named Patrick Noonan, founder and chairman of The Conservation Fund, the first recipient of its highest honor, the Edmund A. Stanley, Jr. Environmental Medal.

The medal is awarded at the CBF’s discretion to environmental visionaries who distinguish themselves in their service to the Bay’s restoration and protection. Noonan was recognized for efforts that not only preserved more than 195,000 acres of the watershed, but also his work to build successful partnerships between individuals, organizations, corporations and the government.

The foundation also named Robert N Whitescarver its 2002 Conservationist of the year and Dennis L. Kirkwood and Ann M. Regn as its Educators of the Year.

Whitescarver, the first line supervisor for four USDA Service Centers in Virginia’s Shenandoah region, was noted for his work promoting the benefits of best management practices. He has secured more than 120 Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program contracts covering more than 1,185 acres that created at least 100 miles of forested buffers.

Kirkwood, the first person in the area to enter his family’s farm in Harford (MD) County’s Agricultural District, was commended for his work as supervisor of science for Harford County Public Schools since 1998 and as a teacher since 1974. Through his influence, about half of the county’s 30,000 students get into the field each year for hands-on environmental educational experiences.

Regn, the environmental education director for Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality, has for more than 20 years trained other professionals, college and university students and civic association members to be environmental educators, creating a skilled cadre of leaders to infuse environmental awareness into the state’s youth.