In 1936, President Roosevelt called for a North American Wildlife Conference in Washington D.C., during our nation’s most dire economic times. Cartoonist J.N. “Ding” Darling and America’s most passionate conservationists, came together to consider a novel and revolutionary idea based on cooperation and collaboration with a single goal of saving America’s wildlife before it was too late. During this meeting the National Wildlife Federation was formed--an organization that would speak for millions of concerned Americans on behalf of wildlife that had no voice.
After that first banquet, conservation leaders came together many times over the years to celebrate successes and plan for the future.
In 1966, National Wildlife Federation harnessed that energy by organizing the first annual Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet, now famed as the “Connie” Awards--honoring individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting wildlife through education, advocacy, communication and on-the-ground conservation. Previous honorees have included actor Robert Redford, former Vice President Al Gore, former President Jimmy Carter and Bette Midler.
Now, for more than 75 years since our founding, we gather again in the spirit of conservation and bring together some of America’s greatest and most passionate advocates for wildlife to celebrate and honor today’s conservation heroes.
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For over 75 years National Wildlife Federation has been a voice for wildlife, dedicated to inspiring Americans to protect wildlife and habitat for our children's future and fostering the next generation of conservationists.