Achievements & Awards

ATC Achievements

  • In 2013, ATC collaborated with the Nassau County Planning & Economic Opportunity Department to develop the first tree ordinance for Amelia Island. Since then, ATC has periodically provided input to the County on improvement of this ordinance and served on the County Planning and Zoning Board committee updating the ordinance. ATC has also provided input on several revisions of the Fernandina Beach tree ordinance and served on the committee established by the PAB to study the section on the industrial sector. In addition, ATC provides materials to support City and County efforts to protect trees on Amelia Island.
  • In 2018, ATC advocated for the development of the Fernandina Beach Land Conservation program and trust fund, which was passed in June 2018.
  • ATC has effected change through advocacy. ATC testifies at meetings and writes letters regarding trees and our maritime forest, development, wetlands and density issues that impact our trees. ATC also meets with developers, architects, builders and utility companies.
  • ATC has developed lists of parcels and sensitive areas recommended for land Conservation in both the City and County parts of Amelia Island
  • In 2019, ATC worked with a number of other environmental groups on Amelia Island and in surrounding parts of Northeast Florida to form the Amelia Island Conservation Network to facilitate communication and coordination of efforts to conserve and protect our environment.
  • In 2019, ATC, Nassau County Sierra Club and Conserve Amelia Now! collaborated on an administrative challenge on a decision related to the development of a wooded parcel partially on land designated as conservation on the Future Land Use Map. 
  • ATC has significantly increased community awareness regarding the importance of our trees as well as the rate of canopy loss by providing presentations, community meetings, booths at Wild Amelia’s Eco-Expo and other events, activities, articles and advertising. ATC has also inspired and provided input to journalists writing about Amelia Island trees and provided information for the Natural History exhibit at the Amelia Island Museum of History. In 2017, ATC undertook a major revision of its website and communication tools.
  • ATC promotes the planting of shade trees in our community and provides support for other organizations undertaking this effort. We have planted trees in Egans Creek Park, at the Boys and Girls Club, at the American Beach Community Center, and have been associated with other planting efforts, such as landscaping at the Fernandina Beach Library.

ATC Awards

Each year at our business meeting, ATC presents awards to individuals and companies that make significant contributions to maintaining our maritime canopy on Amelia Island.

  • 2019 ATC Awards for extraordinary service to our canopy or ATC:
    • Corky Hoffman, and an anonymous donor for leadership and support in the Riverstone Southend effort
    • The Amelia Bluff volunteer legal Team, Al Laub, Victoria Wilson, Pam Green.
    • The Auto-Centric Research Group:, Bryn Byron, Bonnie Dickens, Julie Ferreira, Sandy Kerry, J.W. McKinnie, Cameron Moss, Joyce Newlin, Kris Nichols, Chuck Oliva, W. Craig Rowdon, Dan Schuster, Joe Soloman, Candis Whitney.
  • 2018 ATC Awards for extraordinary service to our canopy or ATC:
    • Taco Pope, Director of the Nassau County Planning and Economic Opportunity Dept., for many efforts to develop a sound approach to conserving Nassau County, such as development of the AI Tree Protection and Replacement and Landscaping Ordinances, improving code enforcement and developing a department committed to the environment of the County.
    • Mike Manzie, Manzie & Drake for educating the public about our tree canopy through the “Oaks of Amelia Island & Its Vicinity” story map and the 2009 Nassau County tree contest
    • Samantha Hoskins, for developing and managing ATC’s Instagram account
    • Harry Weisenborn, for GIS support of ATC in mapping canopy
  • 2017 Award for extraordinary service to our trees and canopy:
    • Peg Lehosit for her Heritage Tree Project in Fernandina Beach.
  • 2016 Awards for extraordinary service to our trees and canopy:
    • Jo-Ann Leimberg, for her extensive service to ATC and the trees of Amelia Island while a member of the ATC Steering Committee.
    • Shelly Nordlinger, for her largely single-handed effort to reduce canopy loss on Quattlefield Lane and to achieve Canopy Road designation.
    • Robyn Nemes, for creation of the Wild Amelia Junior Naturalist Program to educate our community and the next generation regarding the nature of the Amelia Island environment, particularly the maritime forest, and her success in engaging both young and old in that environment.
  • 2015 Awards for extraordinary service to our trees and canopy:
    • Dudley Benesh and Phil Grifin of Amelia Coast Realty, for their efforts to preserve one of the most outstanding live oaks on the island at the corner of 8th and Elm Streets.
    • Chris Occhuizzo, for his service to ATC and the trees of Amelia Island while a member of the ATC Steering Committee.

Voice of the Island Awards

New in 2017, ATC presents awards as warranted to individuals who have provided extraordinary service to the environment of Amelia Island by speaking out orally, in writing or through photography.

  • 2019 Voice of the Island Awards:
    • Bob Apgar for giving voice to the Amelia Island environment in the Amelia Bluff administrative challenge
    • Munsell McPhillips for research and use of her extensive expertise to give voice to the Amelia Island environment in the Amelia Bluff administrative challenge
    • Robert Prager for research and use of his engineering expertise to give voice to the Amelia Island environment in the Amelia Bluff administrative challenge
    • Candis Whitney for her many roles in speaking up for the environment, including Wild Amelia and the establishment of the Amelia Island Conservation Network
  • 2018 Voice of the Island Awards:
    • Julie Ferreira for many years of giving voice to the Amelia Island canopy and other aspects of our environment.
    • Betsie Huben for speaking up for the welfare of the Amelia Island canopy and other aspects of the environment.
    • Steve Leimberg for the extensive environmental education he has provided through photographic representation of the beauty and character of nature.
  • 2017 Voice of the Island Awards:
    • MaVynee Betsch, for establishing a legacy of speaking out for the Amelia Island environment.
    • Joan Bean, for a lifetime of speaking out for the welfare of Amelia Island.
    • Munsell McPhillips, for developing and presenting “The Secret Life of Trees: Living in a Maritime Forest” and her many other contributions.
    • Tom Cote-Merow, for his active engagement in public discourse in support of the environment
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