The Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT) held its 10th Annual Conservation Stewards Awards banquet recently and honored former Suwannee River Water Management District (District) governing board member Earl Starnes as an award recipient. According to ACT Executive Director Robert Hutchinson, the awards banquet is held to honor conservation stewards who have made contributions to preserving and improving Florida’s natural resources. Starnes is one of three candidates to be honored this year.
Starnes served on the District’s governing board for approximately 14 years and also served as the governing board chairman during that time.
"Earl is Florida's planner emeritus -- he's been the mentor to a couple of generations of people who are now in the forefront of efforts to save this state,” explains Hutchinson. “He continues to provide lessons in not only why to love this place, but how to do it wisely." Starnes, who now serves as the Professor Emeritus of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Florida, said he was “very pleased” with being given the award and hopes to continue to make positive contributions in helping to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. Starnes is a native Floridian and has been an environmental and conservation activist all of his adult life. He has had many occupations in the public and private sectors in addition to serving on a variety of environmental boards. He co-authored a book titled Lessons Learned: The History of Planning in Florida which was published in late 2008.