In February 2015, History Center Committee Chair Ellen Temple was honored with the Terry Hershey Award from the Audubon Texas Women in Conservation Program. The award recognizes her work to conserve native plants and ecosystems in East and South Texas, particularly East Texas' Neches River. Audubon Texas desribes her work as "untiring advocacy, personal commitment and leadership of conservation initiatives throughout Texas for decades. She is passionate about conserving the Neches River and its designation as a Wild and Scenic River." Ellen's other conservation work has included serving as president of the board of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and as member of the board of the Nature Conservancy of Texas, serving on the Advisory Board for South Texas Natives and on the Stephen F. Austin State University Pineywoods Native Plant Center Advisory Board. Ellen and her husband Buddy Temple have been honored for their conservation work with the 2011 Aldo Leopold Conservation Award for their Temple Ranch in South Texas, by the Texas Conservation Alliance with the Lifetime of Conservation Achievement Award in 2012, and by the Big Thicket Assocition with the R.E. Jackson Conservation Award in 2014. Under Ellen's leadership, The History Center's native plant gardens have become a showplace for the beauty and variety of native plants in East Texas, particularly Angelina County.
For more about the Terry Hershey Award from Audubon Texas Women in Conservation and to learn about the other honorees, please click here.