Florida’s wealth of natural resources is supported by iconic landscapes and essential habitats that are essential to Floridians’ quality of life. Each year, Audubon Florida recognizes a conservationist with our Special Places Award for their work to protect the parks and habitat that make our state so special.
This year’s 2021 Special Places Award honoree is Reid Hughes for his vision and advocacy for the creation of parks and preserves that will be enjoyed for generations to come. A resident of Northeast Florida, Hughes has championed locally for the protection of Volusia County's Spruce Creek, Rose Bay, and the Tomoka River, donating his time and money to protect our state's aquifer.
Hughes served on the Boards of the St. John's River Water Management District, the Florida Development Commission, the Everglades Foundation, the Florida Environmental Education Foundation and the Sierra Club, and received many distinguished awards. He was a member of the Volusia Forever Advisory Committee and helped purchase and preserve nearly 62,000 acres of important ecological lands in Volusia and Flagler counties alone. He was a board member of Defenders of Wildlife, the National Audubon Society, and Chair of the Florida Nature Conservancy.
But arguably Hughes’s biggest environmental accomplishment was his advocacy to establish Preservation 2000, a $3 billion, statewide conservation program - which began Florida’s commitment to land conservation that is embodied in the Florida Forever program today.
Reid Hughes passed away in 2021. His environmental legacy will live on in these special places and the future generations that enjoy them.