This award is
named in honor of the late Richard B. Fischer, who, throughout his
decades of residence in the Town of Ithaca, undertook by
teaching and example to improve the quality of the natural
within the Town, Tompkins County, and the State of New York.
As an educator, Dr. Fischer taught generations
of Cornell University students the precepts and practice of environmental
conservation through courses such as Environmental Writing and Field
Natural History. As a writer of hundreds of scientific and popular
articles, he informed and engaged the interest of his peers in the field
of conservation, and members of the general public of all ages, in a wide
range of conservation-related topics. As a naturalist, Dr. Fischer
undertook such projects as the provision and monitoring of scores of
Eastern bluebird nesting boxes in appropriate habitat throughout the Town,
in order to encourage re-establishment of a viable population of the
beautiful State Bird of New York for the enjoyment of generations of Town
residents. As a public citizen, he led the successful campaign to enact
State legislation which mandates beverage container deposit returns,
thereby reducing litter in the environment throughout the State.In recognition of Dr. Fischer’s untiring and effective lifelong efforts to
promote environmental awareness and action, at both the personal and the
societal levels, the Richard B. Fischer Annual Environmental Conservation
Recognition Award has been established, to be given to recipients
demonstrating Dr. Fischer’s exemplary dedication to environmental
The current recognition award winner is Cayuga Nature Center Summer Camp Program, 2015. Browse previous years winners HERE
the annual award may be individuals or groups, including but not limited
to professional, governmental, and commercial entities. It is desirable,
but not necessary, that nominees reside in or be based in the Town of
Ithaca. Nominees shall, within the year or longer period preceding the
year of their nomination, have completed, or made substantial progress
toward completion of, a project or other activity contributing to the
improvement of the Town’s natural environment.
which has or will have beneficial effect on the Town’s natural environment
will qualify a nominee for consideration for this award. Actions may be
physical improvements, or other activities such as, but not limited to,
enhancing environmental awareness, environmental education, promotion of
environmentally-sensitive practices, or effective enforcement of
regulations benefiting the environment.
or entity with knowledge of an eligible project or activity may make a
Nominations may be made in writing,
addressed to the Conservation Board, 215 N. Tioga Street, Town of Ithaca,
Ithaca, NY, 14850. Electronic submission of nominations will also be
welcome via email to
Mike Smith. Nominations may be submitted at any time during
the calendar year for which they are to be considered, but not later than
February 28th of the year following. Nominations should identify and provide contact
information for the nominee, as well as information describing the project
or action which prompts the nomination. Copies of any available
supplemental information -- news articles, photos, project specifications,
publications, school reports, etc. -- will be helpful to the Board.
Nominators may wish to review the criteria for selecting awardees (see
below) in preparing nominations. Nominators
should also provide their contact information, in case the Board needs to
reach them. Nomination materials will be returned on request, after the
Board has made the award determination. Nominators will be informed of
the result of the Conservation Board’s consideration of their nomination.
will consist of an appropriately-worded framed certificate, or other
suitable means of recognition, at the discretion of the Conservation
Board. More than one award may be given in any year. Presentation will
be made at a time and place agreed to by the awardee.
February, the Conservation Board will review all nominations received in
the preceding calendar year. In selecting awardees, the Board will
consider the following criteria:
Nature/type of project or action. Does it involve
physical change to the property? Or other action such as public
information, education, or research?
Scope, locus, and orientation of project/action. What
size physical area and/or audience does it directly affect? What
is its ultimate/intended potential scope? If a physical area affected
lies partially outside the Town boundaries, is a significant portion of
the affected area within the Town? If it does not involve change
to property, are its initial aims to provide Town-wide benefits, or
focused more specifically?
Cost-effectiveness. Does it achieve much for little
Applicability. Are the action's effects easily
reproduced, or do they lend themselves to widespread use? Are they
likely to encourage other actions to benefit the Town environment?
Visibility/public awareness. If project involves
physical change to property, how obvious and visible is it? If a
non-physical action, how has the general public been made aware of it?
Impact on the Town of Ithaca. Does the project/action
enhance the Town of Ithaca's public image? Does it present potential for
Town government to take steps to benefit the environment?
Type of positive benefit. These might include
preservation of a valuable resource, or restoration/enlargement of one;
removal/reduction of negative conditions; creation of habitat to benefit
rare/threatened/endangered species; creation of a visual enhancement that
will benefit an area or the Town as a whole; written and/or graphic
material that will educate and inspire Town residents.
Negative effects. Are there offsetting negative
outcomes? Could/should these have been foreseen and possibly avoided or
reduced? Do they outweigh the benefits?
Conservation Board will use its best judgment to determine which, if any,
nominees meet the criteria, and to what extent, and whether any merit the
Award. At its regular March meeting, the Board will formally act on
its determinations. Award certificates will be presented as soon
thereafter as practicable and agreeable to awardees.