On July 25, the Butler Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Butler County, Ohio, notified LM that they named the Fernald Preserve “Conservation Educator of the Year.” The award recognizes the Fernald site’s accomplishments in the areas of environmental remediation, natural resources conservation, and environmental education. LM will receive the award at the SWCD’s annual meeting on August 28.
The Butler County SWCD was on the planning committee for two large events held at Fernald in 2017. The Ohio Region IV “Envirothon,” held April 25, 2017, hosted over 500 high school students who participated in competitive testing on several natural resource topics. Eighty-seven teams, five students, and an advisor competed in this event. The Envirothon encourages group problem solving and team building among students who may become the next generation of environmental leaders. The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Soil and Water Resources sponsored the event.
The Butler County SWCD also hosted a regional meeting/training for staff members of the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in July 2017, where over 50 individuals became acquainted with the Fernald Preserve through a program presented by LMS site staff. The Fernald Preserve routinely serves residents of Butler County and the surrounding region with interpretive program services, facilities, and wildlife observation opportunities. Groups served from the Butler County area in 2017 and 2018 include elementary schools, scouts, master gardeners, Three Valley Conservation Trust, and university students.