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Conservation District names award recipients
Whidbey Island Conservation District cooperators and partners were recognized for land stewardship and support at an open house this week at the Coupeville Library.
The Outstanding Cooperator Award went to Patricia and Mike Miller. Over the last two years, the Millers restored a former Christmas tree farm north of Oak Harbor, adding livestock, an orchard, a large garden and a rainwater collection system.
This is an example of a small-scale production farm, working in concert with natural resource conservation.
The Everell “Duke” LeBaron Land Steward award went to Anza Muenchow and Marc Wilson for the management of their farm and forest. They attended a 10-week forest stewardship coached planning class brought to Coupeville in 2012 through a partnership with WSU Island County Extension, the Department of Natural Resources and the conservation district.
Since then, the couple implemented a forest conservation plan, obtaining cost-share funding from the Natural Resource Conservation Service to improve their forest’s health through thinning. This year, they are installing a high-tunnel to expand their fruit and flower production. They use and teach natural sustainable methods for local food production.
The Outstanding Homeowner Award went to Robert Mackie.With the design help from the conservation district, Mackie installed an alternative storm water system to alleviate flooding under his home. The system intercepts and diverts storm water to a rain garden in his yard, reducing downstream impacts and beautifying his yard.
The Deer Lagoon Grange was recipient of this year’s Outstanding Partner Award.The grange hosted many classes open to the public about farming and using local foods.Chris Williams and Claire Acord are responsible for the Grange Food and Farm News newsletter and blog, which announces classes and events related to farms and food, and connects local producers and consumers.
The grange also installed an alternative storm water management system, including two rain gardens, to protect the foundation of their historic building.Outstanding Supporter Award went to Stu Trefry, regional manager for the 10 Northwest Washington conservation districts for the Washington Conservation Commission. Trefry helped guide the conservation district through the process to develop a more stable funding base which allows us to help all residents and landowners of Whidbey Island.
He not only provides guidance to district managers, but also to the district’s board of supervisors, who are themselves residents and landowners of Whidbey Island and essential to providing local control.All award winners were presented with a plaque honoring their achievements.
In addition to the awards, the conservation district presented its annual program of work and budget for the 2015 fiscal year.
A draft budget and annual plan documents are available for review.Contact the district at 888-678-4922 to request a copy. Comments on the work plan and budget must be received by 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, 2014.