Champion of outdoor causes is recognized for his tireless efforts to preserve county resources –
By Patricia Beech –
Tom Cross, Director of the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau, (ACTVB) has been selected to receive the Ohio Department of Natural Resource (ODNR) 2016 Cardinal Award.
Each year the award is presented to three individuals or organizations who demonstrate exceptional awareness and concern for the ideals reflected in the department’s mission statement: To ensure a balance between the wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.
According to the ODNR, since 1971, past winners of the Cardinal Award have included volunteers, outdoor writers, educators, businesses, naturalists, farmers, biologists and outdoor sporting organizations.
Upon receiving the award, Cross will join the ranks of such distinguished notables as John Ruthven, Charles A. Eulett, Richard and Lucile Durrell, and the Ohio Nature Conservancy among many others who have made a positive impact on Ohio’s natural resources.
“I’m so pleased to have been chosen for this award,” said Cross. “It is truly a remarkable honor for an Adams County boy.” ODNR Director James Zehringer presented the award to Cross during a ceremony at the Malabar Farm State Park on Sept. 22.
Under Cross’s directorship, the ACTVB has tirelessly promoted eco-tourism in Adams County. His work was instrumental in securing funding to build two canoe and kayak launches on Ohio Brush Creek, further advancing outdoor tourism opportunities in the county.
In addition to serving as the ACTVB Director, Cross has been the outdoor columnist for The People’s Defender for nearly 40 years. He is also the author of “Fishing Ohio”. The book, which touches on nearly every public fishing spot and fishing opportunity found within the Buckeye State, has sold over 5,000 copies, and is currently in its third printing. It has been a solid fixture on Ohio’s best sellers list since its publication in 2008.
“I’ve been a fisherman, hunter, outdoor enthusiast all my life,” says Cross. “For years I have touted the outdoor experience through my children, my outdoor columns and my book, which allowed me to bring my love of fishing and the outdoors to many readers across Ohio.”
Cross’s work with the Adams County Travel Bureau promoting eco-tourism has also contributed significantly to the growth of the local economy.