FORT LORAMIE — The 69th annual dinner meeting of the Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was held Dec. 3 at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. John Lenhart, treasurer of the Board of Supervisors for the Shelby SWCD, served as emcee for the evening. A video presentation prepared by District Technician Ryan Evers depicted the work of the District over the past year. Approximately 150 guests enjoyed the pictorial review of conservation works across the county. Featured were; technical practices and structures, services for both rural and urban residents, conservation education and community outreach events.
Judy Frilling and Heiland-Frilling Farms were tapped as the Outstanding Cooperators for 2015. They are long time cooperators of the Shelby SWCD and are strong advocates for conservation. Over the years Frilling and her family have been dedicated friends of conservation, installing many conservation practices on the land, including; grass waterways, filter strips, windbreaks and wildlife enhancement practices. They have also utilized no-till, conservation tillage, cover crops and nutrient management.
Frilling’s dedication to agriculture and conservation have not stopped on the farm. Over the years she has been an active member of conservation organizations, including being an elected supervisor of the Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District, a member of the Loramie Watershed Association and the Loramie Valley Alliance.
Frilling volunteers countless hours to activities in the community that promote the efforts of conservation on the land and teaching youth about the importance of our precious natural resources.
The District was proud to tap the Frilling Family as the 2015 Outstanding Cooperators for the Shelby Soil and Water Conservation District. The Frilling family received a $100 check from the Luther and Iva Heintz Memorial Fund and a plaque. They also received a sign for their barn, compliments of Farm Credit Services of Mid-America. The Frilling’s are some of the many conservationists across the state that are making a positive impact upon the landscape.
Also recognized was Lehman High School science teacher, Tracy Hall, as the Outstanding Educator of the Year. Hall has a passion for serving her community and teaching young people about conservation. She has been coaching the Lehman Envirothon teams for the past 12 years. In 2008 Lehman had the highest scoring Envirothon team in Shelby County. This year she has 40 students interested in filling the 15 available spots on their Envirothon teams
Hall has frequently incorporated watershed education into her curriculum. She has also been helping with Pioneer Day for the last two years. She brings her high school students to help teach the fourth-graders learn about the importance of wetlands to the pioneer settlers as well as today’s citizens.
She has been a dedicated volunteer for the Conservation Day Camp for the past 10 years. She has been a presenter and has helped with archery and fishing. She is a valuable asset to the camp. In 2013 she also received recognition from the Ohio Energy Project for a five year commitment to Energy Education.
Numerous other people who freely give of their time throughout the year to support the programs of the District were asked to stand and be recognized. These dedicated volunteers are invaluable in helping to get the conservation message out to citizens of all ages across Shelby County.
John Lenhart of Jackson Township and Leonard Albers of Van Buren Township were re- elected to serve three year terms on the District Board of Supervisors. Their new terms will begin Jan. 1, 2016. Other board members serving in 2016 will include William Maxson, Tom Seger and John Geise.
The young men and women of the Lehman Limelighters presented a show of song and dance to the delight of the audience. The Lehman Limelighters perform under the direction of Betsy Moorman.
Shelby SWCD encourages every resident to do their part in conserving the precious natural resources the community has been blessed with in Shelby County. For conservation assistance, contact the office at 937-492-6520, ext. 3, or follow the organization on Facebook.
The writer is the education coordinator for the Shelby Soil & Water Conservation District.