Longtime Scottsdale resident Henry Browne "H.B." Wallace will be honored posthumously for his philanthropy and support of environmental causes.
Wallace died earlier this month at age 89.
Before his death, he was nominated by the Nature Conservancy for the Outstanding Philanthropist Award given annually by the Greater Arizona Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
The organization will honor him at an award dinner on Nov. 16, said Patrick Graham, director of the Nature Conservancy’s Arizona office.
Wallace lived much of his life in Iowa, where he was president for 35 years of Hy-Line International, a leading company in the agriculture industry.
He retired to Arizona in the mid-1980s and soon after became involved in conservation advocacy.
Wallace boosted efforts of the Desert Foothills Land Trust and the McDowell Sonoran Land Trust, nonprofit groups leading land preservation efforts in Scottsdale, Cave Creek and Carefree.
He purchased 80 acres on Lone Mountain in north Scottsdale and worked with the Desert Foothills group to have a conservation easement placed on the property, making it an open-space preserve.
Wallace helped Scottsdale make its case for having more than 13,000 acres of state trust land designated as suitable for conservation. It’s land the city intends to make part of its McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
He also funded a study by an environmental research group to demonstrate to the state land commissioner the value of protecting the area’s natural Sonoran Desert environment.
"H.B. was truly a beacon of light to all of us," said Carla (her legal name), director of the McDowell Sonoran group.
"When he believed in something, he believed in it fully. . . . He and (his wife) Jocelyn have always been there for us as supporters," she said.
Wallace also become known for the extensive desert botanical garden he developed at his north Scottsdale home.
The garden has become a useful research facility for botanical experts and an education center for students and nature lovers, said Mike Rigney, director of the Desert Foothills group.
Wallace’s contributions to the Nature Conservancy helped fund ecological research and protect forests, grasslands and riparian areas throughout Arizona, Graham said.
He also helped fund medical research at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
His interest in the environment and public service was a family legacy.
Wallace’s father, Henry A. Wallace, a geneticist, was a U.S. vice president under Franklin Roosevelt in the early 1940s, between jobs as secretary of agriculture and secretary of commerce.
His grandfather, Henry C. Wallace, founded one of the country’s first agriculture journals and later served as U.S. agriculture secretary in the 1920s.