October 10, 2022

Jim McCarthy, former president of North Florida Land Trust, has been awarded the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution’s (NSDAR) Conservation Medal. The award was presented at a recent meeting of the Ponte Vedra Chapter of NSDAR. McCarthy was nominated for the award by NSDAR Regent Phyllis Baehrend for what he did for conservation in the region while serving as president of NFLT from 2014 until August of this year.

“I am very proud to honor Jim McCarthy for all of his conservation efforts that have resulted in preserving thousands of acres of our precious land, helping to maintain what makes North Florida such a special place,” said Baehrend.

The NSDAR Conservation Medal recognizes individuals and businesses with distinguished conservation records who work to improve the environment and educate the public on conservation issues. During his tenure at NFLT, McCarthy was able to protect more than 26,000 acres of land for conservation. He grew the nonprofit’s operating budget from $233,000 to $2.5 million and secured more than $46 million in federal, state, foundation, and individual funding to protect property through conservation.

McCarthy was recommended for the award by NFLT’s Interim President Allison DeFoor and Steve Crosby, retired president of CSX Real Property, Inc. DeFoor wrote, “For the past eight years, Jim has led the North Florida Land Trust to unprecedented levels. It required creative thinking to identify and secure the federal, state, local, and private funding needed to purchase land, evaluate donations of land, and secure easements on properties.”

DeFoor also praised McCarthy for his ability to seek out and hire a strong staff, as well as educate the public, elected and appointed officials, and the media about the importance of land conservation to “maintain and enhance our quality of life.”

McCarthy is the first person in Florida to receive this honor in several years. In addition to his work with NFLT, McCarthy was also appointed to Florida’s Environmental Regulation Commission by two governors and has served on the Steering Committee for the South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative (SASMI), the Florida Conservation Coalition and the Alliance of Florida Land Trusts.

About North Florida Land Trust

North Florida Land Trust is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing quality of life by protecting North Florida’s irreplaceable natural environment. Founded in 1999, NFLT has preserved tens of thousands of acres of land through the donation or purchase of land as well as conservation easements.  NFLT is funded largely by private and corporate contributions and works closely with willing landowners and public agencies at all levels of government, not-for-profit partners, and foundations.