Three Local Winners Honored for Conservation Efforts

The Washington Association of Conservation Districts recently held their annual meeting in Cle Elum and presented awards to three individuals and groups from Snohomish County and Camano Island. The Tulalip Tribes, Kristoferson Farm, and Mukilteo teacher Sue Idso were recognized. The annual awards recognize individuals and groups that support conservation districts in their work on natural resource conservation.

The Kristoferson family and Kristoferson Farm won the WACD Wildlife Farm of the Year Award for their conservation and wildlife habitat restoration efforts. The Kristoferson Farm on Camano Island has been in the family since 1921. It’s currently managed as a working forest for small-scale timber harvest, organic hay production, a canopy zip-line tour and event venue. The Tulalip Tribes received the WACD Tribal Partnership Award. The Tribes worked with the Snohomish Conservation District to implement stormwater educational efforts and projects on tribal lands. Terry Williams and the Tribes have also been leaders in establishing and growing the Snohomish County Sustainable Lands Strategy. This collaborative, cross-boundary approach to net gains for both fish and farm producers has provided many opportunities for the Tribes, District, and other partners to secure funding to implement a wide variety of farm/fish/flood projects. 

Sue Idso, a fifth grade teacher at Mukilteo Elementary School, received the Educator of the Year Award. With help from habitat specialist Ryan Williams, Sue and her students created an outdoor classroom - a place where teachers of all grades could hold science and language arts classes outside. After the District helped clear brush, 

Sue contacted a group of local Eagle Scout candidates to develop and build projects including: a trail network, an amphitheater, a bird blind, and a series of bat boxes. Sue also recruited dozens of volunteers for monthly work parties to remove invasive ivy, blackberry and laurel, which were replaced with native trees and shrubs. The outdoor classroom was ready for the entire school to use in March 2014.