Scenic America has presented its Stafford Award to former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy in recognition of his work as an advocate for sustainable development and scenic preservation. The presentation was made during Scenic America's recent board meeting in that city.
"The Stafford Award serves as Scenic America’s most prestigious award, having honored luminaries such as Lady Bird Johnson and Laurence Rockefeller," said Scenic America President Mary Tracy. "We are proud to honor Tom Murphy’s leadership and personal commitment to the environment and beautification efforts in the City of Pittsburgh."
"Mayor Murphy’s vision for reclaiming Pittsburgh’s waterfront and downtown continues to unfold before our eyes," said Mike Dawida, executive director of local affiliate Scenic Pittsburgh. "Our blossoming image as a world-class city, widely recognized as both 'most livable' and a 'best place to visit,' owes a great debt to the bold and forward-thinking work of Tom Murphy as Mayor."
Scenic America's Stafford Award recognizes a diverse group of individuals and organizations whose leadership in fostering scenic conservation has had significant positive impacts, both locally and nationally. The award is named for former United States Senator Robert Stafford of Vermont, for his efforts to reform the federal Highway Beautification Act and his longstanding concern for the environment. Senator Stafford himself was the first recipient of the award.
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee received Scenic America’s highest honor, the Stafford Award, during its recent meeting of affiliates and Board of Directors in Washington, D.C.
Senator Alexander’s selection recognizes his longtime, outspoken support for America’s scenic and natural landscapes. An early advocate of sustainable tourism, Senator Alexander has sponsored legislation to protect scenic wilderness, spearheaded efforts to improve air quality in national parks (especially his beloved Smoky Mountains) and, as chairman of President Reagan’s Commission on Americans Outdoors in the late 1980s, recommended a national network of greenways and designated scenic byways.
During his two terms as chief executive of Tennessee (1979-1987), then-Governor Alexander introduced initiatives to limit tree-cutting and visual clutter along the state’s highways, declaring that “tourists come to Tennessee to see the scenery, not the billboards.” (Subsequent studies confirm that he was right: Beauty sells!)
More recently, Senator Alexander led the successful effort to block an amendment, tacked onto a defense appropriations bill, which would have allowed the rebuilding of nonconforming billboards destroyed by hurricanes. Invoking Lady Bird Johnson’s landmark 1965 Highway Beautification Act, Senator Alexander called the amendment “a big wet kiss to the outdoor advertising industry” and “a full-scale assault on one of the most important pieces of legislation that helps keep our country beautiful.” USA Today said his efforts resulted in “a rare setback for power and money in the Senate.”
The Stafford Award is named for former U.S. Senator Robert Stafford of Vermont, for his concern for the environment and efforts to strengthen federal highway beautification laws. Previous recipients include Scenic America founder Marion Fuller Brown of Maine, Governor Pete Wilson of California, Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island and U.S. Transportation Secretary Federico Pena.
“Senator Alexander has been the greatest advocate for ‘America the Beautiful’ in Congress since Mr. Stafford himself,” said Mary Tracy, Scenic America president. “We can think of no one more deserving of this award.”
Scenic America presents Charles F. Floyd with Lifetime Achievement Award
Scenic America proudly presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Charles F. Floyd during its May 2010 meeting of affiliates and board of directors.
Presented by Scenic America President Mary Tracy, the award is inscribed: "In recognition of your decades of service fighting billboard blight and promoting the beauty of America’s roadways, communities and landscapes."
"Charlie was on the forefront of the fight against billboard blight before most of us knew what it was," said Tracy. "His continued enthusiasm for sharing his unparalleled knowledge of the billboard industry is invaluable to those of us in the scenic conservation movement."
Click here for Scenic America's press release on Charlie's award.