ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- WFTV 9 Family Connection and The Trust for Public Land named Shanta Barton-Stubbs as Central Florida's 2016 Cox Conserves Hero. The program honors volunteers who are creating, preserving or enhancing outdoor spaces. Barton-Stubbs, an Orange County resident, is connecting students with gardening and healthy living. Through the New Image Youth Center, students created a community garden where they grow and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables. The program also includes cooking and exercise classes to encourage healthy, active lifestyles. Her nonprofit of choice, New Image Youth Center, will receive $10,000 on her behalf. The two finalists each will each receive $5,000 for their nonprofits of choice. Jeri Baldwin selected Crones Cradle Conserve Foundation as her nonprofit of choice; Eric Gardze chose Merritt Island Wildlife Association. The national Cox Conserves Heroes program was created in 2008 through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of WFTV Channel 9. The partnership stems from Cox Enterprises' national Cox Conserves sustainability program that focuses on reducing waste and energy consumption, conserving water and inspiring eco-friendly behavior. Chuck O'Neal was selected as Central Florida's 2015 Cox Conserves Hero. Cox Conserves Heroes also takes place in Arizona, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Washington and Virginia.