Vince Bertrand

The realization of a very tangible shift in the culture around stormwater is what brings reward. The countless small efforts that have allowed for community involvement, education, and behavior change are why I truly enjoy what I do.
— Vince Bertrand

Vince has been instrumental in partnering with us in Monroe, coordinating the Monroe Wetland and the Lord’s Lake Restoration projects as well as annual Earth Day events. He invited our education team along on his water quality sampling route to learn about what scientists do to protect our waterways. This kind of partnership help us communicate about real-world applications of science, how humans interact with the environment, and potential careers in science. Vince helped kick off our Lawns to Lettuce program in Monroe, coordinating with Monroe High School’s Future Farmers of America students. as well as Jardinería con un Propósito, or Gardening with a Purpose, a class targeted to reach the prevalent Hispanic Population in Monroe. We are super grateful for Vince’s support!

Nora Carlson & Lora Hein

We want to live lightly with a smaller carbon footprint, to care for wildlife habitat, mend the harm done by development, and beautify our spot of the planet and we also want to demonstrate to our neighbors another model of how a yard can be making a beautiful impression for people when they walk by.
— Nora Carlson & Lora Hein

Lora and Nora installed a rain garden on their Edmonds property under our Veterans Conservation Corps program. They have both been wonderful advocates for the District’s Community Conservation program and eager to have their property serve as a demonstration site for sustainable living. In addition to the rain garden, they have installed solar panels, sheet mulched their entire yard, and implemented a number of other low impact landscape features. Thank you for helping us demonstrate sustainable landscaping, Lora and Nora!  

Nomination Highlight Video

Debbie Hatcher

Being a steward of the environment has always been a passion throughout my life. Being a teacher provides a valuable avenue to enrich the learning to children of protecting the environment.
— Debbie Hatcher

Debbie is a 4th-grade teacher at Maltby Elementary school who continually goes above and beyond with her students. She furthers her students’ education on the stormwater subjects covered by SCD’s lessons through continual reinforcement. Her students are thoughtful and appreciative and it’s largely due to her teaching. Debbie takes additional time out of her teaching schedule to review with her students and emphasize stormwater concerns and solutions. Mary Hale, SCD Youth Educator, said, “She is truly educating a generation of students appreciative of the planet where they live.”

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Robbie Johnson

Working with the SCD on our original property was like having a very-experienced friend help us along the way. They gave us the confidence we needed to spend money on things like rock for the heavy-use area, lime for our pastures, a million t-posts for our track, and hearty tree-starts and grass seed for our budding forest and neighboring pastures.
— Robbie Johnson

Robbie is a very proactive and enthusiastic cooperator who enjoys implementing best management practices and seeing them have a positive impact on his land. This includes everything from new heavy use areas, manure bins, and renovated pastures to re-foresting 50 acres to preserve as a mixed conifer forest. He and his wife run a therapeutic horse experience for young people on their property. Not only do the best practices help the horses and the land, they also positively impact youth coming to engage with the horses. “Robbie is the most proactive, energetic and encouraging cooperator you will ever see, who is genuinely happy getting best management practices on the ground and see the positive impact they have on his land,” says farm planner, Michael Hipp.

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Andy Loch

My motivation to be a good steward is grounded in the word steward. I see myself as not an owner but temporary occupant. I coupled this with the idiom “actions speak louder than words.” How could I advocate for the conservation of our natural resources if I wasn’t doing it myself? If not me, then who, if not now then when?
— Andy Loch

In 2013, Andy bought the property that had historically been the Sorgenfrei family farm. Elsie Sorgenfrei had previously spoken to SCD about restoration, but Andy was the one who got the project really rolling. Andy enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program or CREP, and he agreed to the Adopt-A-Stream Foundation securing a grant to restore the stream. As a result, 6.8 acres of stream were planted with over 3,500 native trees and shrubs, and his livestock, now fenced out of the stream, were provided with an off-stream watering system. Thanks to Andy for his dedication and diligence to follow through with his restoration intentions!

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Syd Nerland

At this point in my life, I am trying to leave a legacy for my grandsons and granddaughter. I want to pass on the farm in good condition to my family.
— Syd Nerland

Syd raises beef cattle north of Oso, however he found that raising livestock west of the Cascades has its challenges. On advice from his neighbor, Syd contacted the District for help with mud and manure management. The solution to Syd’s issue was a compost-bedding pack barn where his cows can be confined during the winter months and manure can be easily managed with composting. Syd’s system not only manages his herd’s manure, but also uses horse-stall waste as his main source of added carbon to absorb manure and urine, taking care of two potential risks to water quality in one system. 

Nomination Highlight Video

Brian Orr & Lori Bailey

We are 60 years old, not without a few challenges, and we have lived in suburban/urban environments for most of our lives – illustrating that anyone can become a conservationist and make a meaningful difference on any scale, large or small.
— Brian Orr & Lori Bailey

Since purchasing their property, Brian and Lori have performed extensive work to ‘clean it up’ as well as restore the natural habitat that was degraded by previous owners. They took a holistic approach to their restoration activities, making their property not only pleasant to view but functional for native species of plants and animal habitat. They eliminated invasive species, planted an extensive native habitat, and reforested portions of the property. They also manage runoff and their chickens so well that their neighbor and SCD Board Supervisor Adam Farnham, says “No feathers, no smell, no rodents. All very well done!”

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Dawn Pucci

We all have an important role to play in recovering our ecosystems that support where our food is grown, wildlife thrives, tourists visit and families work and play.
— Dawn Pucci

Island County and Dawn specifically have supported the District and salmon recovery in the Salish Sea for many years. She views her role as helping all salmon recovery stakeholders succeed, and she does an amazing job of supporting the volunteers, organizations, and her own department staff in accomplishing the watershed’s goals. Recently, Dawn helped advocate for funding, and provided design and engineering review, construction support, permitting assistance, publicity, and public engagement for our Kristoferson Creek Fish Passage Projec, and her leadership of the Salmon Recovery Technical and Citizen Committee has strengthened the committee’s reach and coordination across watersheds in Port Susan and Puget Sound.

Nomination Highlight Video

Brea Dormaier

Brea goes above and beyond to give her students experiences both inside and outside of the classroom to learn about environmental issues and solutions.
— Lily Cason, SCD Youth Educator

Brea is a dedicated 4th grade teacher, who, every year, with her teaching team, invites SCD to teach their students about environmental education. The classrooms host a tank of salmon so students can make observations about their growth. With her administrators and teaching team, Brea also helped champion student involvement in the installation of green schoolyard projects like rain barrels, rain gardens and garden beds that create impactful environmental education learning opportunities for years to come!

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Eric Fritch

Eric is selfless, he inspires others thru his motivation and passion for helping others. He gives of his time, provides assistance and education, and he wants to make his farm a better place for all.
— Bobbi Lindemulder, SCD Operations Program Manager

Eric currently supports four farms on his farmstead, all of which promote conservation and sustainability. He has a strong passion for generational farming and spends time mentoring youth about animal husbandry and proper care. Eric is highly engaged in the agricultural community and he also has his own sustainable grass-fed beef operation, with a fully implemented farm plan and extensive riparian fencing.

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Holy Cross Catholic Church

We are blown away by Holy Cross’ commitment to the earth- they plant potatoes for the food bank, help organize volunteer planting events to protect their section of the Pilchuck River.
— Ashley Shattuck, Former SCD Restoration Project Assistant (WCC)

Holy Cross Catholic Church completed a large native planting project along their section of the Pilchuck River in March, 2017. They recruited over 50 volunteers, including the baseball team from Archbishop Murphy High School. Together they planted over 426 plants. The Church has also planted native species to restore their NGPA area. Not only are they responsible stewards of the environment, they also grow vegetables to share with local food banks, and provide firewood from their tree lot to those in need. 

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Carol McMahon

Carol is an enthusiastic neighborhood steward. She installed her rain garden many years ago before we began our cluster project, and she was excited to continue to add GSI solutions to her property.
— Alicia Kellogg, SCD Community Conservation Project Coordinator

Carol is an enthusiastic neighborhood steward who has worked with SCD to install a rain garden and a rain barrel system at her home to reduce stormwater runoff. Carol then took initiative to share her projects with neighbors by inviting them to participate in a cost-share opportunity with the City of Lynnwood and SCD. Carol’s neighbors followed her enthusiastic lead by installing rain barrels and rain gardens at their homes, resulting in their neighborhood collectively capturing and filtering substantial stormwater runoff and protecting local waterways.

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Carol in the News

Holly Small

Holly is an educator that is passionate about farming and wants to make sure people have the best information and tools available as possible. Her mission is to not see people fail.
— Bobbi Lindemulder, SCD Operations Program Manager

Holly is passionate about farming and uses her own experiences, including a background in cattle ranching, to provide real-world scenarios in her classes. She has developed farming programs that have been adopted statewide. Beyond education, she is a thoughtful and caring person who has comforted those who are struggling and has helped farmers who are passing their farms onto the next generation. SCD staff have enjoyed working with Holly on the development and implementation of the WSU Cultivating Success program.

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Robyn Smith

Robyn is always striving to be a good steward of natural resources and to farm in a sustainable manner while passing this knowledge and experience on to the next generation.
— Carrie Brausieck, SCD Resource Planner

Robyn runs Equine Life Solutions, an innovative facility that offers horse riding lessons, therapy and natural resources/agriculture education to underserved urban youth. Working with SCD she installed a manure composting system, a rain garden, and a set of cisterns to reduce stormwater runoff to Little Bear Creek creek while collecting rainwater for livestock. Robyn is always striving to be a good steward of the land while passing knowledge on to the next generation.

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Nomination Highlight Video

Andrew Albert

To project a positive image of farmers and farming to the community and to help keep agriculture a viable industry for years to come.
— Andrew Albert's better ground reason

ndrew is a great example of what we hope to find in our next generation of farmers and in our ag communities. On his farm, he consistently and sustainably balances the need for an economically viable local agriculture industry with the need for protecting our natural resources. He’s progressive in implementing numerous practices on his farm including nutrient management, compost utilization, soil health management, controlled-release fertilizers, conservation tillage, and perennial cropping. Additionally, he’s always willing to help neighboring farms and is an active member of his community.

Andrew Albert poses next to his Albert Family Farm sign. 

Karen & Scott Clark

To protect our environment for the future of our children.
— Karen & Scott Clark's better ground reason

Karen and Scott practice Sound Horsekeeping and make an effort to reach out to other horse and livestock owners. They manage mud with a heavy use area, gutters and downspouts, and regular manure cleanup. They are also very conscious of not overgrazing their pastures even though they don’t have much land. Karen saw our manure compost bin display at the fair in 2013 and Scott built their bins according to the plans. Not only have they done a good job on their property, they also hosted a farm tour in 2014 and helped us reach out to the Sultan community by providing a good example of real-life practices in action.

Karen Clark poses with her Sound Horsekeeping sign next to her compost bins

Karen Clark poses with her Sound Horsekeeping sign next to her compost bins

Heather Margo

So we have wonderful land to hand over to our children.
— Heather Margo's better ground reason

Heather worked with her neighborhood to restore a small section of stream in her neighborhood. She has organized hundreds of volunteers to plant and maintain the site. Heather first contacted SCD to look at a small piece of right-of-way at the end of her cul-de-sac, adjacent to her property. She wanted to remove invasive species and plant a riparian buffer. Heather worked with us to get materials and organized several neighborhood events to remove weeds and plant trees and shrubs. 

Katherine Staberow poses in front of her house.

Katherine Staberow

We need to be a part of the solution for urban sprawl.
— Katherine Staberow's better ground reason

Katherine has been a huge driver of restoration and stormwater work on her own property and her neighborhood NGPA. She has led projects with enthusiasm, working cooperatively with this group of over 30 properties. Her initiative has been a huge driver in implementing these conservation efforts, as she has brought great enthusiasm and easy communication. In December, Katherine coordinated a volunteer planting event to kick off restoration activities, with over 20 neighbors coming together to plant over 400 plants! 

Katherine Staberow poses in front of her house.

Colleen Keller

Children, they’re the ones that will impact our communities for years to come.
— Colleen Keller's better ground reason

Colleen is Principal of Utsalady Elementary, Colleen leads her school’s fantastic work to lighten their footprint on the environment. She involves students in teaching their peers and others how to implement more sustainable practices, and she supports her teachers and students in their ongoing efforts to reach more sustainability goals. She supported student teams that taught their peers how to recycle and they’ve now reduced their cafeteria waste by half! Colleen helped with the 5th grader/kindergartner buddy program in the school garden. This year she is working to initiate composting.  

Colleen Keller poses during a bike trip close to the water.