Diane Turner - Conservation Technician & Outreach Assistant
Outstanding Partner of Urban Conservation - Zach Sprunger
Zach started working with the urban conservation program in 2015 as he worked to increase wildlife and pollinator habitat, reduce runoff, and improve the small woodland area in his sub-division back yard. In 2019, Zach utilized our Heartland cost share program to add more native plantings and habitat to his property. While Zach’s work on his own property has been great, he hasn’t stopped there. He has worked to spread a conservation ethic within his workplace, HOA and broader community. Zach promotes the SWCD and its programs and sales to neighbors and friends and even runs an Instagram account with over 250 followers where he posts beautiful photos of his backyard habitat and the pollinators and wildlife that visit it.
Partner in Conservation Award - Hamilton County Travel & Tourism
The White River Vision plan is a joint effort between the city of Indianapolis and Hamilton county tourism, Inc. Their objective was to develop a comprehensive and coordinated regional, community-driven plan to enhance 58 miles of the white river in Marion and Hamilton counties. The goal of the vision plan is to create an accessible, recreational and cultural environment that encourages a unique sense of place for the community as a whole. Brenda Meyers and the rest of the tourism board should be proud of the work completed on the White River Vision plan and we are proud to call them partners in conservation.
Outstanding Service to HCSWCD - Andrew Justus Fritz
Andrew is a jack of all trades and brought with him experience in landscape design, soils, agriculture and gardening, graphic design, strategic planning, community building, and much more. Andrew built the Hamilton County Garden Network, a variety of technical resources, and a program to deliver hundreds of tomato plants to food pantries. Andrew’s diverse skillset and willingness to help his coworkers led to his involvement in many SWCD programs and initiatives. After four years of exemplary service, Andrew moved to California in July and I’m happy to share that he is still putting his conservation expertise to good use at another conservation district.
River Friendly Farmer Award - Katy Rogers
In 2020 the Soil and Water Conservation District nominated Teter Retreat and Organic Farm, and manager Katy Rogers, for this recognition. Teter Farm is located within the White River Watershed near Riverwood, just north of Noblesville. Teter Farm is a mission of Noblesville First United Methodist church. It was donated by Ruth Teter in 1981 as a memorial to the AW Teter Family, and its mission is to feed mind, body, and spirit by doing good and eating well. The farm produces USDA certified organic, nutrient dense vegetables through cover cropping and reduced tillage. This produce is available for purchase through a Community Supported Agriculture plan, local farmer’s market, and through regular donations to the area’s food programs. The farm uses a sustainable, regenerative cropping system that integrates the ecological sense of nature, helping to build better soil health while protecting the natural environment and sensitive habitat surrounding the farm.
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