Knox-Lincoln Conservation District recognizes local leaders
Nobleboro — On Nov. 1, Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District held its annual awards banquet at the North Nobleboro Community Building.
More than 60 people attended to enjoy a homemade meal — and as much pie as you could eat — and celebrate the conservation achievements of friends and neighbors. Mark Hedrich, chairman of the KLSWCD Board of Supervisors, welcomed the crowd with a presentation of district efforts and accomplishments in bringing an increased awareness of conservation needs and practices to the two-county region. He reminded the audience that with climate change, population changes, and increased development at home and in less developed countries, the need is greater than ever for conservation education and practices on a global scale.
Following brief presentations by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and district staff, the following individuals and groups received awards while a slideshow highlighting their achievements provided a backdrop:
· Marge Kilkelly and Joe Murray of Dragonfly Cove Farm in Dresden were recognized as the 2012 Cooperator of the Year for nutrient management practices that protect water quality in the East and Kennebec Rivers;
· Peter Lammert of Thomaston, recently retired from the Maine Forest Service, received a Professional Service award for more than 35 years — and counting — of service, advice, and commitment to the citizens of Maine;
· Dick and Jean Vose of Nobleboro were honored for Excellence in Conservation Education for promoting beekeeping and pollinators through establishing the Knox Lincoln County Beekeepers and Bee School;
· Lyle Cramer and Ron Hawes of Union accepted the Promoting Agriculture award for the Union Fair Society, which was presented in recognition of more than 100 years of advancing agriculture in Midcoast Maine through the Union Fair and related activities;
· Robert Spear of Nobleboro was on-hand to receive a Water Quality award given to Spear Farm for conservation practices that contributed to Duckpuddle Pond being removed from the state list of impaired water bodies;
· Lincoln Academy Climate Action Club and Pemaquid Watershed Association were jointly honored with an award for habitat restoration for working together to install a vegetated buffer on the degraded shore of Biscay Beach in Damariscotta. LACAC, which wrote the grant that funded the project, was represented by Charlie Scimone, advisor, and club members Claire Dumont, Sammi Zaidi, and Mitch Boucher; Jill Rice, project leader, represented PWA.
· Lorna Fake (Great Salt Bay School) and Cindy Sabina (Nobleboro Central School) were honored as the 2012 Conservation Teachers of the Year. Fake runs an outdoor club for her second-graders to help them develop an appreciation for and understanding of the benefits of protecting the environment. Sabina was recognized for the school recycling program that she initiated with her sixth-grade class.
· Daniel Goettel, South Thomaston and Vermont, received the 2012 District Volunteer of the Year award for all the time and energy he devoted to the district including developing an online tutorial for the USDA Web Soil Survey, advising the Watershed School Envirothon team, and helping on any and all projects that needed a spare pair of hands.
The evening concluded with a presentation entitled “What’s going on with honeybees?” by guest speaker, Tony Jadczak, Maine State Apiarist. Jadczak talked guests through the fascinating ins and outs of native and honeybee anatomy, biology, and ecology and then offered an in-depth look at the increased stresses placed on honeybees when they are used commercially to pollinate food crops. These stresses result in suppression of honeybee immune systems, leaving bees unable to fight off diseases carried by parasites like the varroa mite, one of the culprits named in the syndrome known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
For more information about Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District programs, please visit knox-lincoln.org or 893 West St. in Rockport or call 596-2040.