Islanders win conservation awards

The Whidbey Island Conservation District held its first Open House and Awards event at the Coupeville Recreation Hall on April 15.

The intent of the open house was to honor partners and collaborators for their outstanding work in cooperation with the Conservation District, and to encourage comments to the district’s budget for the July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011 fiscal year.

Carl Massengale was presented with the Outstanding Forest Steward award. Carl has sustainably managed his 148 acres of forestland over the past 30 years, balancing production with wildlife habitat on his land. Carl has been willing to open his property to groups for educational workshops.

MOC Excavating of Freeland was recognized as the Outstanding Private Collaborator for their donation of crew, equipment, fuel, and labor used to excavate the site for the recently installed rain garden at the Freeland Sno-Isle Library. The rain garden was installed to filter storm water from the parking areas to reduce pollutants flowing into the shellfish beds in Holmes Harbor.

Sarah Richards, Lavender Wind Farm, was presented the Outstanding Volunteer award for her exceptional commitment to agriculture on Whidbey Island. In addition to operating her farm, Sarah has been an active volunteer on the annual Farm Tour Committee, the Whidbey Island Grown brand development committee, and she currently serves on the board of directors for the Northwest Agriculture Business Center.

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust received the Outstanding Public or Non-profit Collaborator award for their collaboration with the Whidbey Island Conservation District on projects in the Strawberry Point watershed as well as with various salmon recovery and forestry projects.

The Conservation District budget is $399,723 for the upcoming fiscal year for the district to continue its mission of providing services to landowners on Whidbey Island, including natural resource planning, engineering, educational programs and technical assistance.

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