The Nature Conservancy recently recognized area conservation leaders for their extraordinary efforts to preserve lands in Door County and the Green Bay Watershed. At an event at the Conservancy’s Mink River Preserve, the Conservancy presented awards to Vicky and Bud Harris, Shirley Griffin, State Rep. Garey Bies, Bill and Betty Parsons and the Ecological Services Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Green Bay.
“Over the years, there have been a lot of people – hundreds of landowners, local officials, volunteers and staff from conservation organizations - who have helped protect Door County and the Green Bay Watershed,” said Mary Jean Huston, director of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin. “We wanted to recognize them by presenting them with Gold Star Awards for Conservation Achievement in connection with our own celebration of the Conservancy’s 50th anniversary in Wisconsin.”
RECIPIENTS OF THE GOLD STAR AWARD FOR CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENT
Vicky and Bud Harris have been active participants in the conservation and management of Green Bay for decades. Bud, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, conducted key research on phosphorus and sediment loading into Green Bay. Both Bud and Vicky helped implement remedial action plans that addressed those pollution sources. Vicky Harris also is Coordinator of the Sea Grant Program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She has studied the bay’s migratory diving ducks and contributed to the program’s conferences and publications, including the State of the Bay Report.
Shirley Griffin has been an active volunteer at the Conservancy’s Green Bay office for eight years. Among her many contributions have been the coordination of a tree-planting program that planted 125,000 trees in just five years, leading stewardship work parties, assisting with event planning, conducting educational programs on wetland protection to local town boards, and assisting with field inventories and research projects.
Conservation Leadership Award
State Representative Garey Bies of Sister Bay has been responsible for numerous legislative initiatives, including authoring Assembly Bill 396, which banned the use of phosphorus on lawns throughout Wisconsin. Bies represents the First Assembly District in the Wisconsin Legislature. He also serves as a member of the Legislature’s Environmental Caucus.
Community Leadership Award
Bill and Betty Parsons have been active supporters of The Nature Conservancy and the Door County Land Trust. They have served on the board of The Nature Conservancy’s Wisconsin Chapter, and have helped with fundraising in Door County, including funds for the Door County Greenprint Project, which has mapped the natural resources of the county.
Conservation Partnership Award
The Ecological Services Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Green Bay has been an important partner in the Conservancy’s efforts in the region. The Ecological Services Office is currently helping the Conservancy with its work to protect the endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly in Door County. This FWS office, together with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, also has been an important partner to secure funds from the Federal Coastal Wetland Program; funds that have made possible the acquisition and protection of hundreds of acres of critical habitat. Cathy Carnes, endangered species coordinator for FWS, accepted the award on behalf of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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