Gary Allen Cunningham Conservation Award

What you need to know about Gary

For half a century, Gary Cunningham lead the way for conservation in the Puget Sound region. In 1969, Gary was a founding member of Hood Canal Environmental Council, and served on the board of this all-volunteer group for 48 years. In 1989, Gary founded Kitsap Land Trust, one of the four all-volunteer land trusts that merged to form Great Peninsula Conservancy in 2000. Gary led the merger with the goal of pooling resources to hire staff and to ensure the sustainability of the organization. In addition to serving as GPC’s first President, Gary also served terms as Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and additionally, as a pro bono attorney for GPC for 15 years. Assisting in everything from real estate transactions, to negotiating and preparing conservation easements, it is impossible to tell the story of GPC without Gary as a key player. In addition to his gifts of time and creative vision, Gary and his wife Marilyn have also made significant financial contributions to GPC over many years. Despite his battle with ALS, Gary continued to serve GPC as a member of the Conservation Committee until his passing on

A new decade demands a new name for GPC’s Conservation Award

In the spring of 2020, GPC staff recommended that the name of the GPC Conservation Award get an update. After a unanimous vote of approval from the GPC board, the award that Gary himself had won in 2017 was renamed in his honor.  The Gary Allen Cunningham Conservation Award will continue to recognize a partner or volunteer who has made a significant contribution to GPC’s mission, and be presented at GPC’s annual fundraising event. Although GPC members were unable to gather at Spring Dinner this year, the award will be presented on October 1st at GPC’s 20th Anniversary Virtual Celebration.

Former Recipients of the Conservation Award:

  • 2014 Dorothy Lind
  • 2015 Chris Dunagan
  • 2016 Paul Dorn
  • 2017 Gary Cunningham
  • 2018 Kate Kuhlman
  • 2019 Ken Shawcroft

The 2020 recipients of the Gary Allen Cunningham Conservation Award

Nancy and Dick D’Archangel

After moving to the Miller Bay area in 1991, and becoming acquainted with Lane Holdcroft, Virginia Cowling, Paul Dorn, and other local residents who were working to protect Miller Bay, Dick and Nancy D’Archangel saw the necessity and effectiveness of conservation efforts made at the local level. Dick is currently the Vice President of Friends of Miller Bay, and a former board member and current committee member of the Great Peninsula Conservancy. Nancy has volunteered with the Bloedel Reserve, Island Wildlife, and has served for many years as secretary of Friends of Miller Bay. In 2019, Dick and Nancy’s fundraising efforts were crucial to protecting GPC’s Freeman Parcel, what is now Miller Bay Preserve.  This joint campaign of Great Peninsula Conservancy and Friends of Miller Bay raised over $150,000 from local community members to complete the purchase of the property and protect it forever.

Here’s just a few examples of the projects that Dick and Nancy participated in on behalf of habitat conservation and citizen science on the Kitsap Peninsula:

Citizen Science Role in West Puget Sound Fish Nearshore Utilization Studies, 2002-2010
Restoring Naturally Spawning Salmon to the Port Madison Reservation