Miranda Bryant Strutton received the Dugdale Award for Conservation on November 9 at the Annual Conservation forum at Stratford Hall.  Randi was nominated by the Elizabeth River Garden Club in Portsmouth for her work in creating and preserving the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve.

In a recent interview Randi cited the nomadic life of her Navy family as having helped her experience the grandeur of America’s vast and diverse landscapes and peoples.  This created a deep appreciation for the beauty and mysteries of the natural world.  In the interview she said “That appreciation helped to shape my philosophy of life and my resolve to protect the environment, conserve natural resources and preserve our natural heritage for future generations.”  By taking a leadership role and using her superb organizational and communications skills she was able to establish the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve in 1977.  This beautiful suburban wilderness was saved from being a dump or another housing development.

The property is owned by the city of Portsmouth and managed by the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation.   Randi is the executive director of the Foundation.  Interactive educational programs and field trips (K-12) are offered for students across the Hampton Roads area to explore the Chesapeake Bay. With four distinct habitats in the 142 acre wilderness this is an outstanding living laboratory. Helping children make connections to their environment is an important mission of the Foundation.   Other activities that Randi has organized include bird walks, volunteer work days, Earth Day programs and many other educational and recreational programs.

This Preserve is affiliated with the National Park Services’ Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network and is an attraction on the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Birding and Wildlife Trail.   The Elizabeth River Garden Club was persuaded by Randi to help build the Education Pavilion and is in the process of erecting a demonstration bird garden as a part of landscaping for the new Science Center which will be constructed in the near future.  Randi was instrumental in including the Hoffler Creek Preserve on the 2006 GCV Garden Week Tour.

Randi Strutton has indeed rendered outstanding service in the conservation and wise development of our natural resources and certainly exemplifies the spirit of the Dugdale Award.  


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