2006 IOWA SIERRA CLUB AWARDS

And the award goes to...

 

 

McGREGOR WOMAN RECEIVES PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD

  

    Des Moines, Ia…The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club recently recognized Kathy Koether of McGregor by awarding her its Public Service Award.  The Public Service Award recognizes a legislative or governmental employee or appointee who has contributed significantly to environmental issues directly affecting Iowa.  Koether was appointed to the Clayton County Planning and Zoning Commission in 1990 and continued to serve in that capacity until 2006.  

    Koether was honored for her opposition to the River Bluff project in Clayton County.  Project developers consistently avoided compliance with county rules, demanded changes in the county’s zoning and its comprehensive plan and requested an urban renewal district that would give the developer all of the district’s tax increment financing (TIF) tax revenue.

    Although the Clayton County Board of Supervisors overrode many of the decisions of the Planning Commission, the concerns that Kathy expressed at the Planning Commission have played out,” said Sierra Club Chair Pam Mackey-Taylor in her nomination of Koether.  “Kathy exhibited tremendous courage and leadership in dealing with this project.”

  

         Kathy Koether (left) recently received the Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club’s Public Service Award.  Pam Mackey-Taylor, chapter chair, presented the award at the Chapter’s Annual Gathering and Awards Celebration.


 

 CLAYTON COUNTY MAN RECEIVES GRASSROOTS AWARD

 

     Des Moines, Ia…The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club recently recognized Tim Mason, a lifelong resident of Clayton County, with its Grassroots Award at the chapter’s Annual Gathering and Awards Celebration.  The Chapter’s Grassroots Activist is awarded to any individual whose contributions have resulted in significant change regarding the environment in a local community. 

   “Tim has been fighting to preserve the county’s scenic beauty and unique nature from being destroyed by thoughtless development for over 20 years,” said Executive Committee member Wally Taylor in his nomination for Mason. 

   The chapter honored Mason for his contributions to force mitigation measures in a by-pass through the Bloody Run Valley; for successfully preventing a housing development along the Mississippi River that would have put a number of houses on stilts in the river; his being instrumental in challenging a proposal for a golf course, hotel, water park and upscale housing project called River Bluff, for fighting the casino that is trying to fill in a wetland next to the Mississippi River for a parking lot and hotel and for encouraging the cities of Marquette and McGregor to build a trail over the bluff to connect the cities.

 

            Tim Mason (left) receives the Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club Grassroots Activist Award for his contributions resulting in significant change regarding the environment in a local community.  Chapter Executive Committee Member Wally Taylor presented the award.

 

FULLICK RECEIVES ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM AWARD

  

Des Moines, Ia…The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club recently recognized Brenda Fullick with its Environmental Journalism Award at its recent Annual Gathering and Awards Celebration.  The Environmental Journalism Award is presented to a person working in the news media who has contributed significantly to environmental understanding at a community, county or state level.

Fullick is a former reporter for the Dallas County Times in Adel, formerly with the Madisonian of Madison County and now a freelance reporter for City View, an alternative newspaper in Des Moines.

In December 2005, Fullick freelanced an article titled “Drowning History,” a very detailed account of how a real estate development plan was threatening oak savanna and prairie remnants, family farms and historic properties in Madison county.  She followed up in March 2006 with a report on the Kelo decision of 2005 that had stern implications for the Madison county properties in question.  She also spent a great deal of time setting the stage for readers so they could truly understand some of the deep concerns of local residents.

        “I believe that Brenda’s articles were watermarks in this journey,” said Sierra Club Member Danielle Wirth in nominating Fullick for the award.  “They engaged the public in an intellectual, contextual and ecological dilemma that really needed attention beyond the borders of Madison County.”

 

 

HARDEN RECEIVES ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM AWARD

  

Des Moines, Ia…The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club recently recognized Ray Harden with its Environmental Journalism Award at its recent Annual Gathering and Awards Celebration.  The Environmental Journalism Award is presented to a person working in the news media who has contributed significantly to environmental understanding at a community, county or state level.

Harden began writing his outdoor column “notes from a Naturalist” for the Perry Chief in March 2001.  He has also written articles for the Dallas County Conservation Newsletter, Dallas County Soil and Water Newsletter, IOWATER Newsletter and the Iowa Sierran.

            He has written on a wide range of topics about outdoor activities, showing his personal interest in canoeing, hiking, hunting and fishing as well as articles of general interest about mammals, birds, insects and their relation to humans.  He has told about environmental problems in the Perry area such as Raccoon River clean-up efforts and prairie restoration – and what is being done about them.

            Harden  is an active environmentalist.  He is a member of the Dallas County Conservation Board, an elected commissioner for the Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District, a member of the North Raccoon River Watershed Association and a member of the Iowa Conservation Education Association. He is also a long-time, active member of the Sierra Club.

 

 Ray Harden (left) recently received Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club’s Environmental Journalism Award.  Jane Clark, chair of the Club’s Central Iowa Group, presented the award at the Chapter’s Annual Gathering and Awards Celebration in Johnston.

 

WOLTER RECEIVES ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR  AWARD

  

Des Moines, Ia…The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club recently recognized Margaret Wolter with its Environmental Educator Award at its recent Annual Gathering and Awards Celebration in Johnston.  The Environmental Educator Award is presented to an educator at any level of education who has contributed significantly to an increased understanding of the environment.

Margaret Wolter began her tenure at the Indian Creek Nature Center in the fall of 2003 as a Program Specialist.  Part of the Nature Center’s mission is to nurture individuals through environmental education. Because of tight school budgets and changes in educational policy, teachers find it more challenging to bring students to nature centers.   However, Wolter expanded the reach of the Environmental Education program by reaching less traditional groups.

Wolter developed, promoted, conducted and evaluated Environmental Education programs for Boy and Girl Scouts, low-income children and preschool groups and pioneered programming for toddlers.  She has worked with a group of generally young mothers with substance abuse problems to help them and their children learn to enjoy and interact with nature as they build positive and appropriate personal communication, learning and play skills.

“Margaret is highly motivated to spread her passion for a clean and interesting environment to others,” said Rich Patterson Sierra Club member and director of the Indian Creek Nature Center.  “She works long hours and often spends her evenings and weekends at the Nature Center hosting groups.  She enables positive environmental education.”

 

 Margaret Wolter (right) recently received the Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club’s Environmental Educator Award.  Pam Mackey-Taylor, Chapter chair, presented the award at the Chapter’s Annual Gathering and Awards Celebration in Johnston.

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