ROANOKE, Va. (Oct. 22, 2019) – Earlier today, dedicated conservationist and long-time Appalachian Trail (A.T.) volunteer Diana Christopulos was announced as the national winner of the Cox Conserves Heroes award. Christopulos was awarded $50,000 to donate to the nonprofit of her choice after winning a public vote held on the Cox Conserves Heroes website. This prize is in addition to $10,000 awarded for being named the state-level Hero for Virginia. Christopulos has dedicated all of her winnings to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and its landscape protection programs.
“It is really gratifying to know that so many people love the Appalachian Trail and want to see its surrounding landscapes protected,” said Christopulos. “I take great joy in working with Appalachian Trail Conservancy staff, volunteers and all of our partners that helped make this happen.”
Voters selected Diana Christopulos to be the 2019 National Cox Conserves Hero in recognition of decades of extensive conservation leadership around the country, including on the A.T.
Christopulos has long been a fixture in conservation efforts around the country. Since the 1980s, she has had leadership roles at multiple environmental organizations including the Texas Conservation Alliance, Sierra Club and the Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition. From 2016-2018, she served as president of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, overseeing the maintenance and preservation of one of the Trail’s most iconic and visited sections. Today she serves on ATC’s President’s Leadership Circle and as president of the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy.
“Whenever I picture an Appalachian Trail volunteer, Diana is one of the first people I think of,” said Sandi Marra, President & CEO of the ATC. “Her years of service to the Trail and the environments surrounding Roanoke are a prime example of the resounding impact dedicated individuals can have on land conservation. Our thanks go to Diana for her generous donation and continuing support of the A.T., and to Cox Enterprises and the Trust for Public Land for spearheading this valuable source of conservation funds.”
The Cox Conserves Heroes awards program was created by Cox Enterprises and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) to honor environmental volunteers who create, preserve or enhance shared outdoor spaces in their local communities. Through the program, Cox and TPL hope to inspire more people to take an active role in community conservation. To date, the national Cox Conserves Heroes program has donated $990,000 to environmental nonprofits and honored more than 200 volunteers. Learn more at coxconservesheroes.com.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is 2,192 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Media Contact: Jordan Bowman
Appalachian Trail Conservancy