Honor Outstanding Leaders

Nominate someone for recognition at our Annual Celebration!

Every fall the Coalition hosts our Annual Celebration, bringing together diverse leaders from every corner of the state to celebrate the conservation and recreation projects that make Washington such a special place to call home.

At this event, we recognize individuals who work tirelessly to promote equity in outdoor recreation and conservation. Leaders who inspire us every day.

We need YOUR help to identify those leaders. Please use this form to nominate outstanding individuals for one of our three awards. Please note we do not always give all three awards each year, depending on circumstances.

The Coalition makes an effort to recognize individuals from diverse backgrounds, who come from different walks of life, and who represent different parts of the outdoor world. We believe there is no one outdoor experience. Whether it’s rallying local support to build a local park or leading the effort to preserve an entire valley, our outdoor heroes come in all different forms.

Joan Thomas Award

Created to recognize conservation champions who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the next generation has access to the same beautiful parks, wildlife habitat and working farms that we enjoy today. Joan was a pillar and respected leader of the conservation movement in Washington and a founding member of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition in 1989. Her commitment to our natural heritage was second to none.

This award is often given as a lifetime achievement award, but can also recognize one-off instances of outstanding leadership.

Past Honorees (in alphabetical order by last name):

Rance BlockThe Hon. Sally JewellMike Ryherd
Bill ChapmanElliot MarksRebecca Sutherland
Joel ConnellyVal and Dan OgdenJoan Thomas
Maggie CoonBill RobinsonDoug Walker (awarded posthumously)

Forward Award

This Award recognizes those who are moving us forward. Created in 2018 to recognize young leaders working tirelessly to protect Washington’s natural places. Awardees use innovative solutions to make the outdoors more accessible for all. Lylianna Allala, Julianna Hoza, James King, Kim Pham, and Rachel Voss were the inspiration behind the award and the first recipients.

Past Honorees (in alphabetical order by last name):

Lylianna AllalaHunters of ColorAlberto Rodriguez
Teresa Bendito-ZepedaAllan KafleyRachel Voss
Coast Salish Youth Stewardship CorpsJames King, Jr.Kayla Wakulich
Climbers of ColorKaiwen LeeMelissa Watkinson
Julianna HozaKim Pham

Evans-Lowry Distinguished Leadership Award

Created in 2017 to recognize the unique contribution Coalition Co-Founders Governor Dan Evans and Governor Mike Lowry made to Washington’s great outdoors. Their unique partnership and bipartisan leadership were instrumental in building the broad support that remains so critical to the Coalition’s success in preserving Washington’s great outdoors.

This award is given to two or more individuals and/or organizations forging unique collaborations to achieve big things in the outdoors.

Past Honorrees:

Governor Dan Evans and Governor Mike Lowry

Chairman Jeromy Sullivan (Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe) and Tom Ringo (Pope Resources)