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Charles E. Bennett Champion of the Environment Award

About the Award

The Charles E. Bennett Champion of the Environment Award was first established at the Florida Coastal School of Law and was given out by the Law School for three years. After the Law School reorganized, the Environmental Protection Board was approached to continue giving this award in honor of Jacksonville’s Original Environmental Champion.

The Charles E. Bennett Champion of the Environment Award seeks to highlight and acknowledge an individual who has exhibited, over a long-term, professionalism, diligence and an unwavering commitment as a Champion of the Environment in protecting or preserving the natural resources of Duval County.

Past Winners include:

  • Congressman Charles Bennett
  • Walt Bussells - JEA
  • Neil Armingeon - St Johns Riverkeeper
  • Linda Bremer - Sierra Club
  • Dr. Todd Stack - EPB
  • Robert Schuster –EPB
  • Mark Middlebrook - Preservation Project
  • Mayor John Delaney
  • State Senator John Thrasher
  • Barbara Broward - EPB
  • Richard Maguire
  • Warren Anderson
  • Barbara Goodman
  • William "Bill" Brinton
  • John Crescimbeni
  • Tracey Arpen
  • Dr. Lucinda B. Sonnenberg, Ph.D
  • Lisa Rinaman

Winner of the 2023 Charles E. Bennett Award Announced!


The 2023 award was presented to Barbara Ketchum at the JEPB Awards Luncheon on November 15, 2023.

Our recipient this year, Barbara Ketchum, has spent a great part of her life advocating and promoting for our local environment, our scenic beauty, care of our natural resources, a cleaner and healthier St. Johns River, and a more sustainable future for our children.  

In the late 70’s, Barbara was one of the early Board members of Greenscape of Jacksonville in their formative years.  In 1989, she and other Greenscape board members formed JaxPride whose goal was to make our city more attractive and safeguard the environment.  She has been very active with the St Johns Riverkeeper organization in several capacities over the years. 

As a member of the Late Bloomers Garden Club, Barbara chaired their Conservation and then the Civic Projects Committees and invested several years promoting well-planned, sustainable downtown activation.  In 2019, her committee assembled a large group of environmental organizations to hear Councilman Matt Carlucci’s goals for his newly formed Resiliency Committee. Today, this coalition is called the Jax Climate Change Coalition.

These are just a few of her noteworthy accomplishments over the years. She has spent a great part of her life working to protect and preserve the natural resources of Jacksonville. Caring and thoughtful, solution-oriented advocacy have been her trademark as a community leader and volunteer for five decades.