- Corporate: Wildllife Land & Resource Management, Sullivan, Ind., Sullivan County
- Nonprofit: Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, Ind., Spencer, Ind.
- Individual: Teri Grossman, Fountain City, Ind., Wayne County
The corporate winner, Wildlife Land & Resource Management, is a company dedicated to the identification, enhancement and conservation of wildlife habitat throughout Indiana and southern Illinois. Since its beginnings in 2006, the company has impacted thousands of acres of land largely through USDA programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Over 1,000 acres of quality warm season grass plantings and almost one million tree seedlings have been planted by company personnel along with the creation of numerous small wetlands. In addition to wildlife benefits, these projects also help reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and help flood control.
The company has helped make Sullivan and surrounding counties leaders in participating in CRP and WRP programs. WLRM also was instrumental in the planning, construction and management of two outdoor learning centers at area schools.
WLRM plays an active role in promoting conservation programs though workshops, displays at local Ag Days, talks at local civic organizations and presentations in school classrooms. Company personnel participate in IVY Tech Ag days promoting conservation programs and opportunities to agriculture students. They also were active partners in three North American Waterfowl Management Plan ventures which helped create Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, Wabashiki Fish & Wildlife Area and improve Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge.
They frequently work with diverse conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and Sycamore Land Trust assisting with conservation practices. WLRM also participates in the annual Soil and Water Conservation District-sponsored Wabash River school raft trip by providing presentations and funds.
The Friend of Conservation recipient in the nonprofit category is Saint Meinrad Archabbey, from Spencer County. The Archabbey's soil and water conservation program consists of three parts:
- Managing the woodlands for timber production and wildlife protection;
- Developing 184 acres of new woodlands with the help of the American Electric Power company, beginning in 2006; and
- Developing 384 acres of woodlands under the Wetland Reserve Program.
Participation in the WRP has had a great impact on runoff from Abby acreage into the Anderson River. Runoff has decreased, improving the Hypoxic Zone because the Anderson River flows into the Ohio, then the Mississippi and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico.
Tens of thousands of people visit St. Menirad every year. The many trees that have been planted provide natural landscape and beautiful scenery for all to enjoy. It also has greatly improved wildlife, shade and provides a healthier air quality. St. Meinrad hosted the Central States Forest Soils Workshop in 2009, and the forest management workshop after harvesting of second growth of pine some 10 years ago.
The Abbey has been a member of the Lincoln Hills Resource Conservation & Development Council for many years. St. Meinrad has served on the forestry committee and assisted with field and forestry days to show the many conservation practices taking place on their land. The Abbey also has held onsite education days for Project Learning Tree and State FFA Soil Judging Contests.
St. Meinrad also has participated in conservation practices such as Timber Stand Improvement, Environmental Quality Incentives Program and CRP. The Spencer County Soil and Water Conservation District is always involved with these Federal programs as a partner with NRCS. The Spencer County SWCD has assisted with designs, layouts and construction checks of the conservation practices that were planned and with the many tree plantings. District Foresters assisted as well.
The individual category recipient for the 2013 Friend of Conservation award is Terri Grossman, from Wayne County.
Grossman assists the Wayne County SWCD with their many conservation projects including: Conservation Days, rain gardens, the East Central Regional Envirothon competition, mailings, and more through her volunteer presentations, preparations, maintenance, folding/stamping, and positive outreach. She also owns 322 acres where she has incorporated grass waterways, tile drainage, crop rotation and no-till practices.
As a Conservation Days volunteer, Grossman puts in long hours to see that the program succeeds. She has been a presenter and supporter for the event that targets third and fourth grade students. She stuffs approximately 1,000 goodie bags, and afterwards delivers materials to classes unable to attend.
At the East Central Regional Envirothon Grossman helps the teams settle in upon arrival, distributes tests, assists with grading, and awards. Teri is also willing to support the program when the District has large mailings.
As a Master Gardener, Grossman practices good stewardship on the land. She has volunteered with many children's organizations encouraging gardening. Currently she works with a local elementary school on their own urban garden. Since 2008 she has put in 267 Earth Team volunteer hours to the Wayne County SWCD's activities and events. Grossman also helped install hundreds of plants that went into the rain garden on the fairgrounds. She continues to promote the garden and support it by identifying plants and maintaining it.