MANSFIELD — Conservation was celebrated in Richland County at the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District annual celebration Nov. 7. Also, Fred Cooke was re-elected to a three-year term, joining other current supervisors Brian Alt, Aaron Dearth, Lanny Hopkins and David Krichbaum.
Erica Thomas, District Program Administrator, shared the past year’s accomplishments. Richland SWCD is seeking two paid college interns to begin in January 2020. The application deadline is Nov. 22. Richland SWCD created a short survey to help identify potential areas in Richland County’s watersheds that residents feel need protected or improved water quality. Please take the survey by Nov. 15 by going to the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D52FK7Z.
Win Meek was recognized as the Richland SWCD Conservationist of the Year. Win’s dedication has ensured Richland County’s natural resources are protected and preserved. He volunteers with many organizations on multiple conservation projects.. Some local organizations he donates time and resources to are the Mansfield Rotary Club, Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Richland SWCD, Ohio Bird Sanctuary and Mansfield in Bloom. His land has been designated a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, Certified Tree Farm from the American Tree Farm System and Plant for Pollinator Garden by the Cincinnati Zoo. He and his wife, Jayne, are also past recipients of the Mansfield Men’s Garden Club residential beautification award.
Mark Meinzer was named the Richland SWCD 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Mark has volunteered with Richland SWCD since 2015. He is a Precipitation and Stream Monitor Volunteer and helps with special events like the Richland County Fair. Mark is active in his church, St. Peter’s, and has been a member of the Johnny Appleseed Square Dance Club for 13 years. A Redbud tree will be planted in his honor at Gorman Nature Center on November 15 at 11:30 a.m. The public is welcome.
The 70-member volunteer team was also recognized. Together this year, they have contributed more than 2,483 hours, which has saved the General Fund approximately $37,245.00. Volunteers contribute high quality data that is used to track soil and water health in Richland County’s 8 watersheds and may be viewed on the Water Data Map of the Richland SWCD website at https://richlandswcd.net/
The guest speaker was Guy Denny, retired from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. He discussed Tallgrass Prairies of Ohio.
The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District Board meets at 6:00 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month in Suite 205B of the Richland County Longview Center, 1495 W. Longview Avenue, Mansfield. The public is welcome. Call 419-747-8686 for information.