Rodney Bartgis, The Nature Conservancy's state director, praised Wheatley's efforts.
"Beth has shown determination and persistence in both her work to conserve West Virginia's wild places and her personal athletic pursuits, including other races, triathlons and hiking West Virginia's mountains," Bartgis said.
Wheatley is proud of a recent accomplishment of The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia.
"You know the picture on the back of the West Virginia quarter?" she asked, referring to the image from the New River Gorge. "We just helped to protect that area."
Her organization worked with the National Park Service in its purchase of a steep and forested slope along the New River Gorge, permanently protecting a large slice of West Virginia scenery that's depicted on the "tails" side of the West Virginia state quarter and seen from the overlooks at Hawks Nest State Park.
"Though I have been working for this organization for more than six years, I am still in awe of my colleagues' successes," she said, in her own account posted to her marathon web page. "Their work is conserving places for families to enjoy for generations and protecting habitat for plants and wildlife seen and unseen, like rare and delicate orchids, black bear, Indiana bats, and beautiful cerulean warblers."
To help Wheatley reach her goal for the West Virginia chapter of The Nature Conservancy, visit www.nature.org/westvirginia. Under the tab "Run for Nature," click on "Make a gift to support Beth." Checks can be mailed to The Nature Conservancy, P.O. Box 250, Elkins, WV 26241. Note "NYC Marathon Fund -- Beth Wheatley" in the memo line.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.