Orange County NC Website
1 <br /> ORANGE COUNTY <br /> BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT <br /> Meeting Date: December 15, 2020 <br /> Action Agenda <br /> Item No. 4-a <br /> SUBJECT: Presentation of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award to Former Orange <br /> County Commissioner Dr. Alice M. Gordon <br /> DEPARTMENT: County Manager <br /> ATTACHMENT(S): INFORMATION CONTACT: <br /> Biography Bonnie Hammersley, 919-245-2300 <br /> Randee Haven-Odonell, Council <br /> Member, Town of Carrboro <br /> PURPOSE: To recognize former Orange County Commissioner Alice Gordon for receiving The <br /> Order of the Long Leaf Pine award from Governor Roy Cooper, the highest honor the Governor <br /> can confer on individuals. The award recognizes her significant contributions to the state and <br /> her community through her exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. <br /> BACKGROUND: Dr. Alice Gordon served as an Orange County Commissioner for 24 years, <br /> 1990-2014. Her most outstanding contributions recognized by this award are in the areas of <br /> environmental protection, school excellence, and improved regional transportation. Of these <br /> contributions, the most memorable are as follows: (1) She created Orange County's innovative <br /> and national award-winning Lands Legacy Program, which has now protected over 3000 acres <br /> of Orange County's most precious natural and cultural lands (2) She championed excellent <br /> public schools, with special attention for many years to the renovation of older schools, for which <br /> she was recognized when the "Alice Gordon Science Building" at Culbreth Middle School was <br /> named in her honor and (3) As Chair of the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning <br /> Organization Board, she was co-leader of a successful cooperative effort to craft a multi- <br /> jurisdictional agreement, the Triangle's first ever joint Long Range Transportation Plan, which <br /> received a national planning award. She was also known as a public servant with integrity, who <br /> always remained true to her core values. <br /> Environmental Protection. With the approval of her fellow commissioners, Alice Gordon created <br /> the national award-winning Lands Legacy Program in 1998, the first comprehensive county land <br /> acquisition program in North Carolina, which won a national planning award in 2007 for its <br /> innovation. The program has protected some of Orange County's most critical natural and <br /> cultural resources, such as forests, watershed riparian buffers, prime farmlands, and future <br /> parklands. Also with the commissioners' approval in 1998, she created a new environmental <br /> department (now part of the Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation) so <br /> that environmental protection would be a separate function and focus of Orange County <br />