High-Hand Nursery in Loomis will be the site of a fundraising dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 18, during which the Placer Land Trust will present Joe Medeiros with the Placer Conservator Award. The annual Placer Conservator Award honors extraordinary individuals or organizations who enrich the quality of life in Placer County through resource conservation. The dinner and award ceremony will feature PlacerGROWN food, and music from Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack. Reservations are required. Tickets are $75 per person. Contact Kelsey Stavseth at 530-887-9222 or Kelsey@placerlandtrust.org. A native of the San Joaquin Valley, Joe watched thousands of acres of native grasslands, wetlands, and riparian forests fall to the plow and the chainsaw. He grew up on a dairy farm but ran to the Sierra Nevada in the summers to escape the stifling heat. “I fell forever in love with wild places, wild creatures, and all the incredible processes that enable life to exist on Earth,” said Medeiros. As a means of sharing his passion for the outdoors and environment, Medeiros dedicated 33 years to the California community college system. He taught botany and biology at Modesto Junior College from 1974-1990 and was the Founder and past Executive Director of the Great Valley Museum of Natural History at the college. From 1990 to his retirement earlier this year, Medeiros taught botany, ecology, and environmental studies at Sierra College in Rocklin. During his tenure he was the first faculty advisor of ECOS (Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students), voted Faculty of the Year (chosen by academic senate), Teacher of the year (Chosen by students) and received a lifetime Achievement Award. “Joe has inspired a new generation of conservationists. He helped students recognize the significance of their impact on the planet,” said Justin Wages, Land Management Technician for Placer Land Trust and a former student of Joe’s. “He’s the reason I’ve chosen land conservation as my career!” Medeiros also served nine years as a National Park Ranger (naturalist) at Devil’s Postpile National Monument in Mammoth Lakes, was instrumental in the massive expansion of Henry Coe State Park in Morgan Hill, and in the establishment of Great Valley Grasslands State Park in Gustine. Fremontia Magazine recognized Joe as a “Hero of the Great Valley” in 2000. "As someone who has worked with Joe for many years on Sierra College projects related to Placer County and the Sierra Nevada, I can truthfully say that I have never met anyone who has shown as much passion and respect for and commitment to the land as Joe Medeiros. He richly deserves the Placer Conservator Award", said Loomis resident Gary Noy, founder and director of the Sierra College Center for Sierra Nevada Studies. Placer Land Trust is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 1991 and dedicated to working with willing landowners and conservation partners to permanently preserve natural and agricultural lands in Placer County. To date the Trust has preserved 4,654 acres across Placer County for current and future generations. For more information about Placer Land Trust visit www.placerlandtrust.org.