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Third Annual Outdoor Heroes Award Third Annual Outdoor Heroes Award Third Annual Outdoor Heroes Award
L.L.Bean Outdoor Heroes


Presenting Our 2011 Outdoor Heroes

We are pleased to introduce you to the recipients of the 2011 Outdoor Heroes Award. Each of the winners have been awarded a $5,000 grant towards their 501 (c)(3) organization—over and above any other L.L.Bean sponsorships—to support continued preservation, conservation and educational efforts.

The L.L.Bean Outdoor Heroes® program was developed to thank those who have dedicated their time to preserving the outdoors. These are people who may not make the front page news, but who change the world around us for the better.

2011 Winners View Winners

Douglas Dear

Douglas Dear

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, LaPlata, MD An advocate for the healing effects of fly fishing on wounded soldiers

While stopping by his local fly fishing shop in 2007, Douglas Dear heard about Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF)... Read More

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Sylvie Fadrhonc

Sylvie Fadrhonc

Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, Telluride, CO A life-changing injury turns an outdoor guide into an advocate for bringing the disabled outdoors

There's more than one way to climb a mountain or ski down a slope. Just ask Sylvie Fadrhonc... Read More

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Elizabeth MacGregor Bates

Elizabeth MacGregor Bates

Wonalancet Out Door Club, Sandwich, NH Retirement was just the beginning for this dedicated "Over the Hill" hiker and conservationist

There are many theories on how to lead a long, productive life, but Elizabeth MacGregor Bates, age 92, has found her formula: hiking and making... Read More

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Katie Zanto

Katie Zanto

Adventure Risk Challenge, Truckee, CA An innovative educator who blends the outdoors with literacy training

Fueled by a great dedication to the environment and education, Katie Zanto founded Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC), an innovative program that... Read More

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Carol and Bob Leone

Carol and Bob Leone

Teens to Trails, Edgecomb, ME The memory of their daughter inspires a couple to connect teens to the outdoors

In July 2005, Carol and Bob Leone's lives changed dramatically when their 15-year-old daughter Sara died in a car accident. While coping with their... Read More

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2010 Winners View Winners

Bonnie Holding

Bonnie Holding

Casting for Recovery Guiding breast cancer survivors to a place of empowerment

Bonnie Holding has spent most of her life helping others enjoy the outdoors. A Master Maine Guide in the Stratton, Maine, area specializing in fly-fishing instruction for over 20 years, she was named one of North America's top guides by Outdoor Life in 2005. Over 11 years ago, Bonnie learned about Casting for Recovery (CFR), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and supporting women who have or have had breast cancer. Read More

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Alexander Burdo

Alexander Burdo

Connecticut Audubon Society A young birder with knowledge and generosity beyond his years

A dedicated volunteer, Alexander Burdo exemplifies Connecticut Audubon Society Founder Mabel Wright's idea that a person who is motivated and passionate can help provide scientists with crucial information about birds and the environment, as well as make a difference in how a community perceives and protects nature. Read More

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Mary Anne Levins

Mary Anne Levins

New England Nordic Ski Association A bundle of energy dedicated to kids and Nordic skiing

For Mary Anne Levins of Rutland, Vermont, volunteering is part of being a good citizen. Fortunately for New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) and many kids, Mary Anne has directed her considerable talent and energy to bringing families to the sport of Nordic skiing. Read More

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Ronald Strickland, Ph.D.

Ronald Strickland, Ph.D.

Scenic Trails Research Creating thousands of miles of trails for millions of hikers

Ronald Strickland has rightly earned his nickname, "Pathfinder." As founder of the Pacific Northwest Trail Association (PNTA), Ron spearheaded the development of the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT). His 32-year labor of love culminated with the designation of PNT as a National Scenic Trail in 2009. And his next project, a sea-to-sea trail across America is well underway. Read More

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Amy Chapman

Amy Chapman

Scouts Venturing Program Teaching conservation by example

A scout with the Venturing program in Idyllwild, California, 17-year-old Amy Chapman demonstrates a remarkable commitment to the environment, inspiring others to think differently about stewardship. Read More

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W. Donald Hudson, Jr.

W. Donald Hudson, Jr.

The Chewonki Foundation Using the power of education to preserve wild places

Don Hudson has the amazing ability to make a difference in one student's life in the course of a brisk nature walk, as well as in the lives of many leading an organization such as the Chewonki Foundation from a small environmental center in Wiscasset to a vibrant community with facilities throughout the state of Maine. Read More

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2009 Winners View Winners

Bill Pierce

Bill Pierce

MAINE DEPARTMENT OF INLAND FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE Building Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's Future One Step at a Time

Bill Pierce is a longtime member of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW). For 10 years, as part of their Information and Education Division, Bill has worked tirelessly to promote IFWs programs and initiatives throughout Maine, and it shows in his many successes. Read More

Marianne Skeen

Marianne Skeen

GEORGIA APPALACHIAN TRAIL CLUB Advocating the Outdoors for Future Generations

A retired zoology professor from Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia, Marianne Skeen is a role model for outdoor stewardship and education. As a member of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club for over 25 years, Marianne has been recognized consistently for her commitment to youth outreach and trail maintenance. Read More

Tom Jewell

Tom Jewell

PORTLAND TRAILS Protecting Portlands Natural Resources

Tom Jewell has enjoyed the natural beauty of the Portland Peninsula ever since childhood. As a college student in 1976, he convinced the Maine Audubon to protect the land around the peninsula. His efforts resulted in the creation of the Fore River Sanctuaryan 85-acre nature preserve that is home to Jewell Falls, Portlands only natural waterfall. Read More

Joe Payne

Joe Payne

FRIENDS OF CASCO BAY An unflagging advocate for our coastal waters

Casco Bay, located in Southern Maine is both a working waterfront and a recreational treasure. In 1989, after an alarming report about pollution levels in Casco Bay, Friends of Casco Bay hired their first staff person—Joe Payne. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve water conditions. Read More

Lori Jean Kinsey

Lori Jean Kinsey

TIN MOUNTAIN CONSERVATION CENTER Inspiring a generation of environmental stewards

With a love of nature matched only by her passion for teaching, Lori Jean Kinsey has been inspiring the next generation of outdoor stewards for the past 25 years. Read More

Joe Sloane

Joe Sloane

BLUE HILLS TRAILWATCH A lifelong passion for the outdoors

In the 1990s, mountain biking access in the Blue Hills of Massachusetts came under the scrutiny of state park managers, who were concerned that they would not have the staffing to support this new recreational use. In a true grassroots effort, Joe Sloane and a few friends started a volunteer program to help educate other mountain bikers. Read More

2008 Winners View Winners

Thomas Kerr

Thomas Kerr

WILDLANDS CONSERVANCY A long history of education, advocacy and conservation

For almost 20 years, Thomas Kerr led the Wildlands Conservancy, a conservation organization based in eastern Pennsylvania. During this tenure, Thomas inspired countless children and adults through his "teaching by doing" philosophy. Read More

Liz Putnam

Liz Putnam

SCA Founder of the Student Conservation Association

As a college student over 50 years ago, Liz Putnam read an article calling attention to the numerous threats facing our national parks. Moved to action, she proposed as her senior thesis the creation of a volunteer student conservation corps. Read More

Buzz Caverly

Buzz Caverly

THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LANDS Gave his time to help add 4,000 acres of land to Baxter State Park

In 2005 after an impressive 46 years of service to Maine's Baxter State Park, Buzz Caverly decided to continue his service to Percival Baxter's vision. An opportunity arose to add 4,000 acres of pristine land around Katahdin Lake to the park, and Buzz jumped at the chance to help make it happen. Read More

Dave Field

Dave Field

MAINE APPALACHIAN TRAIL CLUB 52 Years of Conservation and Trail Maintenance

Anyone who has ever done trail maintenance knows that it is grueling yet rewarding work. The historic Appalachian Trail is fortunate to have some of the countrys most dedicated volunteers maintaining the trails, but the Maine Appalachian Trail Clubs Dave Field stands out in this distinguished crowd. Read More

Kay Henry

Kay Henry

NORTHERN FOREST CANOE TRAIL The Driving Force Behind a Recreational Treasure

In the late 1990s, Kay Henry had an idea. An avid paddler with a healthy dose of drive, Kay dreamed of creating an easily accessible water trail throughout the Northeast. To do so, she began fundraising effortsfirst through corporate support from the Outdoor industry, then through four years of Federal funding to build the trail. In time, she raised over $1 million to turn her dream into a reality. Read More

Greg Ponte

Greg Ponte

MAINE TROUT UNLIMITED TROUT CAMP A Long History of Education, Advocacy and Conservation

Having taken the Maine Trout Unlimited Trout Camp from a far-fetched idea to reality in a remarkably short time, Greg Ponte now serves tirelessly as its executive director. Greg's camp has helped over 60 teenagers learn about themselves, the sport of fly fishing and the conservation issues facing the next generation of anglers. Read More

Watch the video Meet One Outdoor Hero. Bonnie Holding. Casting for Recovery. We caught up with Bonnie on the Kennebec River in Solon, Maine. In this beautiful setting, she told us why the annual Casting for Recovery retreat is one of her favorite events during fishing season.
Environmental Stewardship. It's in our nature and yours. Enjoying and protecting the outdoors has been our passion since L.L.Bean first began serving sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts in Freeport, Maine. Today, our company continues to dedicate itself to helping people make the most of their outdoor experiences. We're proud to work with individuals and organizations committed to preserving the outdoors.