The original item was published from March 13, 2018 9:55 AM to March 16, 2018 2:57 PM
Everything we do at the Pierce Conservation District is based on the great support we get from our community. Without all of you, we wouldn't be celebrating another great year in conservation for Pierce County. We hope you all will join us next week for our Annual Conservation Celebration & Award Ceremony, but if you can't, please share your thanks to all these folks and organizations who went above and beyond in supporting the work we do for all you.
Please RSVP by Friday, March 17 if you plan on joining us.
Learn more about this year's Keynote Speaker, Patricia Colemon and her topic, Uncovering Truths, here.
Ernie Bay Lifetime Achievement Award: Helen Engle -
Helen Engle, raised in Oakville, Wash., graduated from Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing. While raising a large family, she became founding president of Tahoma Audubon Society in 1969, and later served as president of the Washington Environment Council
, a group that convenes environmental groups to prioritize environmental legislation and political strategy. Engle helped found Citizens for a Healthy Bay
in Tacoma, and People for Puget Sound
, which addresses issues of the Salish Sea.
She has served for 30 years on the Wildlife Diversity Advisory Council with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Her experiences involved working with native tribes, farmers, business leaders, and legislators. Locally she was involved in efforts to address pollution concerns stemming from the ASARCO smelter. Helen is most well-known and regarded for her instrumental leadership in working with Billy Frank, Jr. to permanently conserve the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge as it was slated to be a container port terminal, Snake Lake Natural Area and numerous additions to National Park and National Wilderness in the Cascades and Olympics. For her lifetime of conservation leadership, Pierce Conservation District is honored to present Helen Engle with the Ernie Bay Lifetime Achievement Award.
Brain Abbott Above & Beyond Award: Nisqually Indian Tribe Salmon Recovery Program -
The Nisqually Tribe Salmon Recovery Program
has proven their dedication to our partnership year after year by doing their best to ensure that our knotweed eradication program is funded at an effective level to help recover threatened Chinook Salmon. Ashley Von Essen has done an amazing job to advocate for this important work and we're very grateful for her support as we work together to restore and protect vital Chinook salmon habitat in the Nisqually River Watershed.
Public Official of the Year: Paul Sowers, Greenwater Fire Chief
- In 2017, the District offered resources for FireWise is 5 communities, and Greenwater was able to max those resources because of their Fire Chief, Paul Sowers. Paul helped to advertise the program, sign up participants, speak at a workshop with over 60 participants, and even chipped in during the Chipper Days to reduce fuel loads in the neighborhood. This proved vitally important when in the fall of 2017 the Norse Peak Fire threatened the community.
Community Food Project of the Year: Viet Hüong Community Garden
- The Viet Hüong garden, stewarded predominantly by Vietnamese Immigrants, might be the most loved garden in Tacoma. Viet Hüong translates to “The Scent of Vietnam” and is a reminder of home for many of the gardeners. It is a tremendous honor that the Viet Hüong stewards have shared their slice of home with Tacoma.The Viet Houng Garden has been awarded the Community Food Project of the year for not just the skills as gardeners and leaders, but for the passion and warmth with which they do so.
Partner of the Year: USDA Rural Development -
With support from our partners at USDA Rural Development
, the District has gone through two rounds of a Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant
. Under this grant, the District has been able to offer technical assistance to farms and small businesses regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency, not just in Pierce County, but state wide.
Volunteer of the Year: Aaron Womack
- Aaron Womack has been a leader in the Gleaning Program for over 7 years and has individually led gleans that have harvested over 56,000 lbs in his time here (28 tons). He always brings a cheerful and peaceful attitude that everyone appreciates! Aaron's tireless dedication to creating a Just and Healthy Food System makes him the deserving recipient of this year's Volunteer of the Year Award.
Educators of the Year: Pierce County Environmental Educators
- Since 2012, Pierce County's team of educators
has supported garden education in the County by collaborating with us to facilitate the Edible gardens series. Teaching in 5 locations every month, the work of supporting people to grow their own food couldn't have the reach throughout the county without them! In addition, they work with schools and community groups throughout the county to teach environmental education and engage community members and youth in the work of stewarding our natural resources and touch thousands of lives every year.
Conservation Practice Implementer of the Year: Frank Servine
- Servine Feed, Tack, and Boarding -
Although not under any type of enforcement action or directive to build a covered compost facility for the manure and bedding generated from his commercial horse boarding
operation, Frank 'wanted to do the right thing' and also be ahead of the curve. Although he obtained $16,500 dollars in cost share for the project, he paid $9,644.16 of his own money to build the structure. In addition to being a model for voluntary conservation, Frank is excited to hold workshops at the farm to educate other livestock owners about aerated composting.
Five Year Plant Sale Volunteer Recognition:
Rocky Hauge - 5 years
John Morum- 5 years
Patrick Ryan- 5 years
Brian Sullivan- 5 years
Helen Wilson- 5 years
Hermina Soler - 15 years
Keith Chadd - 15 years