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2008 Environmental Stewardship Award Winners

The Larimer County Board of Commissioners awarded five with the 2008 Environmental Stewardship Awards.

  1. Big Thompson Watershed Forum’s Volunteer Monitoring Program, for their collaboration with community volunteers to collect water samples. The Big Thompson Watershed is crucial for providing water for drinking, agriculture, recreation and natural habitat. Water samples collected as a result of this program allow the Forum to compare sample results with water quality standards and to identify water quality trends within the watershed. The volunteer monitoring program also increases community awareness and understanding of watershed issues and the importance of good stewardship. The result is an effective blend of science and community involvement that benefits the Big Thompson River.
  2. FortZED Task Group of UniverCity Connections, for their success in organizing a diverse group of public and private entities around the goal of creating a net zero energy district. The goal of FortZED is to create a district where all of the energy used is created locally via sustainable non-polluting sources such as wind and solar that provide for long term stewardship of the environment by reducing carbon emissions produced through traditional energy production. A combination of technology, education, financing and most of all commitment will be needed in order to achieve success. While the complexity of the work ahead should not be underestimated, the Task Group represents unprecedented grassroots community collaboration aimed at one of the most important issues of our time.
  3. Jim Reidhead, for an important body of work that includes both environmental and historic preservation. Jim was instrumental in the creation of the 1,600 acre Phantom Canyon under the Nature Conservancy. That model for success was expanded during his tenure as director of the County’s Rural Land Use Center. Under that program more than 11,000 acres have been protected using voluntary agreements with landowners who develop a small portion of their property in exchange for preserving large tracts of valuable natural resources and agricultural lands. The skills necessary to accomplish these tasks include technical knowledge about environmental values, an understanding of legal conservation practices, and exceptional personal skills to develop good relations with land owners. Jim also has a record of accomplishment in renovation and historic preservation efforts in Old Town Fort Collins. The results of Jim’s dedication and skill will benefit the community far into the future.
  4. Darlene Halvorsen, for her work with River Watch at Loveland High School. Science teacher Darlene Halvorsen coordinates the activities of the River Watch club. Weekly meetings center on monitoring the biological, chemical and physical health of the Big Thompson Watershed. The River Watch students perform monthly water analyses at designated river locations and share that information with the Colorado Division of Wildlife. They also organize river cleanup events and provide educational presentations. The nomination received for this award notes that “Mrs. Halvorsen has been the driving force behind River Watch at the school for 9 years. Her passion for preserving the environment and teaching others truly sets her apart”.
  5. Legacy Land Trust, for their efforts that have resulted in the conservation of over 35,000 acres of important lands since the Trust’s founding in 1993. The Legacy Land Trust is a non-profit organization which works with local land owners, the community, and local government to conserve important wildlife habitat, farm and ranch lands and scenic areas in Larimer, Weld and Jackson Counties. All of the conservation easements held by the trust were negotiated as a result of voluntary agreements with willing landowners. The emphasis is on maintaining a trust and mutual dialogue. The Legacy Land Trust has demonstrated that they have the technical, management and personal skills necessary to partner with our region on these important conservation projects.

Previous Award Winners

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