This program was created by the Tidewater Council’s Conservation Committee to assist Boy Scouts, Venturers, Units and Scouters in understanding the methods and practices of natural resource conservation through completing requirements for one of the William T Hornaday awards. This page and it’s included documents are intended to serve as a step-by-step resource for individuals working on Hornaday awards, Conservation Advisors, Unit Leaders, and other Scouters so that all can fully understand the significance and meaning associated with a Hornaday award.
This awards program was created to recognize the relationship between conservation and Scouting. It was begun in 1914 by Dr. William T Hornaday, director of the New York Zoological Park and founder of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hornaday was an active and outspoken champion of natural resource conservation and a leader in saving the American bison from extinction. He named the award the Wildlife Protection Medal. Its purpose was to challenge Scouts to work constructively for wildlife conservation and habit protection. After his death in 1938, the award was renamed in Dr. Hornaday’s honor and was sponsored by the New York Zoological Society for 35 years.
In the early 1970’s, the present awards program was established with funding help from the DuPont Company. At that time, the late Dr. Hornaday’s idea of conservation was broadened to include environmental awareness.
The fundamental purpose of the Hornaday Awards program is to encourage learning about natural resource conservation and the environment. Understanding and practicing sound stewardship of natural resources and environmental protection strengthens Scouting’s emphasis on respecting the outdoors. The goal of this awards program is to encourage and recognize truly outstanding efforts undertaken by Scouting units, Scouts and Venturers, adult Scouters, and other individuals, corporations, and institutions that have contributed significantly to natural resource conservation and environmental protection.