Duke honors Robert Redford for environmental work

Posted April 18, 2009 4:29 p.m. EDT
Updated April 18, 2009 10:59 p.m. EDT

— Duke University honored actor, director and environmentalist Robert Redford on Saturday with the inaugural Duke LEAF Award for lifetime environmental achievement in the fine arts.

The award was presented at Duke University's Page Auditorium during the university's Alumni Reunion Weekend.

Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment established the annual award this year to honor artists whose work inspires environmental awareness and stewardship in others, according to the school.

An executive committee selected Redford “for his unique and central role as an artist, his moving portrayal of the natural world as an integral character in his films and his strong and effective environmental advocacy.”

While at Duke, Redford will meet with students and faculty members and tour environmental research facilities at the Nicholas School.

Redford has been a voice on behalf of the environment since the early 1970s. He has used his artistic talent and resources to produce documentary films on topics such as solar power and coal-fired power plants and has directed environmental films such as “The Milagro Beanfield War” and “A River Runs Through It.”

He has lobbied Congress on behalf of the environment and the arts, advocating for renewable energy, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the preservation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other wilderness lands and against global warming.