Monday, April 22, 2024

Cape Fear business, philanthropist honored with state conservation awards

The Fence Cove Pond at Orton Plantation, owned by Louis Bacon, who is being awarded conservationist of the year. (Courtesy N.C. Coastal Land Trust)

WILMINGTON — Two local entities are being recognized by the state for their sustainability efforts this fall.

Wilmington-based Atlantic Packaging will be awarded the Business Conservationist of the Year at the 59th Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards. Louis Bacon, owner of Orton Plantation in Brunswick County, is earning Conservationist of the Year.

Hosted by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, the annual banquet honors agency professionals, elected officials, volunteers and organizations committed to the state’s wildlife, habitat and natural resources.

Atlantic Packaging is one of 18 award recipients this year. The company engages its 800 employees in conservation efforts providing sustainability and conservation education to inspire more sustainable practices at work and at home.

Its influence extends to Charlotte, Greensboro and Wilmington, where staff collaborate with local organizations to promote environmentally conscious practices during major events.

The company, located at 1212 S. 10th St., also contributes to coastal beautification.

Bacon bought the Orton Plantation in May 2010, and has led renovation efforts, including the creation of a diverse habitat for numerous plant and animal species. The plantation has ongoing plans to preserve the forest systems, protect endangered species, and boost the population of red-cockaded woodpeckers.

Honored for his dedication to conservation through the Moore Charitable Foundation and the Orton Foundation, Bacon has had a “profound impact” on preserving and restoring natural habitats in the state, particularly within the Cape Fear River basin.

All recipients will be recognized at the Sept. 9 banquet in Cary.

“Each year, we’re amazed by the commitment and creativity of North Carolinians working to protect the wildlife, air, water and land we all depend on,” T. Edward Nickens, NCWF awards committee chair, said in a press release. “This year’s conservation heroes are land stewardship champions, water advocates and leaders in the preservation of unique ecosystems — and we’re thrilled to be able to honor them in person at our banquet this year.”

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