The de Lacy Gray Memorial Medal for Conservation was awarded to Sallie Sebrell at the Annual Meeting on May 11, 2011. Since 1981 Sallie has been a member of GCV clubs. Sallie is currently a member of the Nansemond River and Blue Ridge Garden Clubs. The entire Garden Club of Virginia has benefited from her passion, as has the state of Virginia. Sallie has been actively involved in every aspect of the Conservation Committee and currently is a presenter for the program, Global Warning: A Virginia Guide to Climate Change that the GCV produced with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).
Sallie has actively represented conservation issues in wide-ranging ways. She sells Eco-Bags at the Suffolk Street Fair, drives a Prius and speaks to the Virginia General Assembly. As a result of her efforts, Suffolk now has curbside recycling. She was recognized with the Blue Ridge Award from the Virginia Conservation Network for her work towards preserving the Virginia Citizens Boards. In the early 90’s, while a member of the Huntington Garden Club in Hampton, Sallie received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Sallie and her husband, John, have lovely landscaping at their Suffolk farm created without toxic chemicals. They have planted fields of sunflowers for wildlife. In their new hometown of Lexington, the Sebrells are restoring the historic Sheridan Hotel with emphasis on green renovations. Sallie’s father was a naturalist and conservationist who taught her that as stewards of our earth’s natural resources and the highest animal on the food chain, we have an awesome responsibility to preserve and protect. These early lessons have been the foundation for Sallie’s lifelong passion and personal commitment to conservation.