March 26, 2009
South Carolina - Benjamin T. "Ben" Zeigler has been named winner
of the 2008 South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award. Mr.
Zeigler is a shareholder of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., where he
practices public finance law in the firm's Florence office.
In a ceremony Friday, March 27, Scott English, Governor Mark
Sanford's Chief of Staff, announced the winner at the University of
South Carolina’s West "Green" Quad in Columbia and recognized
Zeigler for outstanding contributions toward the protection,
conservation and improvement of South Carolina's natural resources.
In July 2008, Ben Zeigler completed two consecutive terms
(2004-2008) as Chairman of the Board of the Pee Dee Land Trust.
During his tenure on the Board, Ben built unprecedented community
support for natural resource protection throughout the Pee Dee
region. "Ben’s civic work, particularly on behalf of the Pee Dee
Land Trust, is an outstanding example of his dedication. The
cumulative impact of Ben’s many accomplishments is truly greater
than the sum of its parts, and for that, all South Carolinians
should be grateful," English said.
The Pee Dee Land Trust enables a land owner to voluntarily and
permanently protect his or her land for its natural beauty and
function, its agricultural productivity and/or its historical
significance. The Trust can accept donations of land or donations of
easements on privately owned land in order to protect it. The public
benefits from protected land, even when public access is not
granted, because of the value of scenic beauty, water and air
quality, potential for local crop production, habitat for flora and
fauna, and much more.
"As a direct result of Ben’s visionary leadership, the amount of
land protected by the Land Trust increased from a mere 13 acres in
2005 to more than 10,000 acres in 2008," English added.
A native of Florence, Mr. Zeigler earned his Juris Doctor degree
from Harvard University (1997), a Master of Philosophy degree from
Oxford University (1994), and graduated magna cum laude from The
University of the South (Sewanee) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in
1992. Mr. Zeigler also serves on the boards of Florence County
Progress (Chairman, Relocation Task Force; Chairman, Membership
Committee; Tourism Study Committee); Friends of Florence Stockade;
Francis Marion University Foundation; Florence Center for the Arts;
South Carolina Tourism Alliance; South Carolina Institute for Legal
Investment (Steering Committee Chair); and moderator, Aspen
Institute Global Leadership Network. He has also served on the
Francis Marion Trail Commission (Chairman, 2005-2009), and the
McLeod Health Community Board. A member of the National Association
of Bond Lawyers (NABL), Mr. Zeigler is a member of the South
Carolina Bar, the South Carolina Supreme Court Commission on Lawyer
Conduct (2005-2009), and the South Carolina Eminent Domain Study
The South Carolina General Assembly established the S.C.
Environmental Awareness Award, now in its 17th year, during the 1992
legislative session to recognize outstanding contributions made
toward the protection, conservation and improvement of South
Carolina's natural resources.
Each year the public is invited to submit nominations that are then
reviewed by an awards committee, which includes representatives from
the state's environmental and natural resource agencies. In judging
nominees, the committee considers excellence in innovation,
leadership and accomplishments that influence positive changes
affecting the natural environment.
Members of the awards committee represent the S.C. Department of
Natural Resources, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental
Control, S.C. Forestry Commission and S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.
Previous winners include:
- 2007 - Dr. Richard Porcher Jr., professor emeritus at The
- 2006 – Rick Huffman, founder, South Carolina Native Plant
- 2003 – Burris Family, owners, Cypress Bay Plantation Tree
- 2001 – James D. Elliott Jr., founder, South Carolina Center
for Birds of Prey
- 1999 – Kenneth Strickland, environmentalist, Florence
- 1997 – Brad Wyche, president, Friends of the Reedy River,
- 1992 – Rudy Mancke, naturalist, S.C. Educational Television
DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by
making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s
natural resources and its people.