At Shoal Creek Conservancy, we’re all about bringing people together around Shoal Creek, and we’re excited to announce our biggest gathering of the year: the Shoal Creek Social! On Tuesday, May 7th, the beautiful Austin Central Library will be hosting this not-to-be missed celebration benefiting Shoal Creek Conservancy.

We cordially invite you to join us for festivities alongside friends. We’ll have live music by Cats and the Canary, tasty bites from many local restaurants, a silent auction, an open bar, great networking opportunities, a mystery book and wine pull, and the beautiful Shoal Creek and Trail as our scenery for the evening.

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Award Winners:
Bob Armstrong Award for Lifetime Achievement in Conservation

Bestowed in honor of Robert Landis “Bob” Armstrong, this award is presented to an individual who over the course of their career has made an outsized impact towards environmental conservation in Central Texas.

As a regional director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas, Laura Huffman heads a statewide team of scientists and conservation experts whose work protects the integrity of Texas’ vast natural resources and most iconic landscapes. Huffman is also founding director of the TNC’s North America Cities program, created to support cities as they integrate natural infrastructure into local planning and development initiatives in ways that safeguard people and reduce vulnerability to climate change.

In her role as Texas regional director, Huffman establishes conservation strategy and provides public policy leadership in order to advance TNC’s mission to protect the land and water. Under her leadership, the organization helped pass the RESTORE Act, a landmark piece of federal legislation that dedicates 80% of penalties resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to affected Gulf Coast states. She has also worked closely with Texas legislators to draft legislation for statewide water conservation and spearheaded the expansion of water protection funds in Central Texas. Since 2000, these citizen approved water funds have generated nearly a billion dollars to protect drinking water in Austin and San Antonio, two of the fastest growing metro areas in the country.

Prior to joining TNC, she served six years as assistant city manager for the City of Austin. During her tenure, she negotiated more than $5 billion in economic development agreements, oversaw the redevelopment of major portions of the city and secured long-term commitments to protect the city’s water supply. Huffman earned a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Texas A&M University.

Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award is presented to young professional who is making waves in the local environmental community. This award is given to someone under 40 years old who has both made positive contributions in the environmental realm in the Austin area, and will continue to do so as their career advances.

Justin Bates is an urban planner and parks professional that works to advance collaborative approaches to park and natural resource management. Justin has supported projects both locally and across the state, including multi-jurisdictional trail plans, landowner-driven conservation planning, and community visioning for parks and open spaces.

Justin currently serves as the Deputy Superintendent of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and Waco Mammoth National Monument, and previously worked for the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program. Prior to joining the National Park Service, he worked for local governments in Vermont and Oregon. Justin holds a degree in biology from Williams College and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.