William T. Hornaday Awards
The William T. Hornaday Awards are a series of awards presented by the Boy Scouts of America for service in conservation and ecology. The program is designed to encourage learning about natural resource conservation and the environment, teach sound stewardship of the natural resources and the environment, and recognize those who are outstanding in this field.
The Hornaday awards program was created to recognize those that have made significant contributions to conservation. It was begun in 1914 by Dr. William T. Hornaday, director of the New York Zoological Park and founder of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hornaday was an active and outspoken champion of natural resource conservation and a leader in saving the American bison from extinction. He named the award the Wildlife Protection Medal. After his death in 1937, the award was renamed in Dr. Hornaday’s honor and became a Boy Scouts of America award.
In the early 1970s, the present awards program was established with funding help from DuPont. At that time, the late Dr. Hornaday’s idea of conservation was broadened to include environmental awareness.
Approximately 1,100 medals have been awarded over the past 80 years. These awards represent a substantial commitment of time and energy by individuals who have learned the meaning of a conservation/environmental ethic. Any Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer willing to devote the time and energy to work on a project based on sound scientific principles and guided by a conservation professional or a well-versed layperson can qualify for one of the Hornaday Awards.
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