The Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District held its annual meeting and banquet on Nov. 4 to highlight the year’s events, projects and successes. Conservation awards were presented to recognize members of the community who have incorporated the importance of conserving natural resources and promote conservation education in the Midcoast.

The evening began with opening remarks by District Chairman Mark F. Hedrich who recapped the past year’s accomplishments. The invocation was given by Associate Supervisor David Hayden.

The banquet provided participants the opportunity to discuss current conservation thoughts and issues as well as a forum for the district to formally recognize those groups or individuals who have contributed in a significant way to local resource conservation efforts, either by adopting specific land practices or by promoting other activities which heighten awareness and concern for local conservation needs. The district proudly presented several conservation awards to honor some of Maine’s most experienced and dedicated conservation partners who were recognized for their significant contributions to natural resource conservation in Knox and Lincoln counties.

The featured speaker for the evening was Laura Suomi-Lecker, technical director for Somerset County SWCD who presented a slide show: Unleaded Loons: Preventing Lead Poisoning of Maine’s Water Birds. Of the many threats to loon populations, lead poisoning is the number one cause of death of adult loons in New England. Laura’s presentation focused on what can be done now, whether on an individual basis or as a group, to encourage and promote non-toxic alternatives to lead fishing tackle.

Award recipients are:

Conservation Education Teacher of the Year — Erik Wade, Hope Elementary School

Outstanding Forestry Award — Morten Moesswilde

Conservation Educator — Kathy Cartwright

Special Conservation Recognition Award — Andy Williamson

Professional Service Award — Mark Hutchinson

Distinguished Service Award — Wendy Pieh

Cooperator of the Year — Scott and Martha Monroe, Pleasantville Farm, Warren