The Warren County Conservation District held its Annual Awards Meeting on Tuesday, April 18th at its new building at 4000 Conewango Avenue in North Warren.

2016 Conservation Farm of the Year

Warren County Conservation District recognized Doud Hill Farms as the 2016 Conservation Farm of the Year. Doud Hill Farms in Corry, PA is a multigenerational farm that started as a dairy and in recent years has transitioned to a crop farm.  They farm approximately 500 acres that is a mixture of hay and corn for grain. They currently use no-till on all acres of their farm.  The family is considering incorporating cover crops into their rotations which will benefit soil health.

In addition to the production agriculture, the Miller family is also dedicated to protecting and preserving wildlife habitat. They currently have 19.2 acres of riparian buffer on the farm that is enrolled in the CREP program.

The Miller family has also offered 58.6 acres of land for enrollment into the federal Wetlands Reserve Easement Program.

The Doud Hill Farms strongly supports outreach and education. They have hosted a soil health field day at their farm and have offered to hold another one.

2016 Environmental Educator of the Year

During her years of teaching at Youngsville High School, Mrs. Laura Dorunda has engaged her students in many field trips using Brokenstraw Creek which is located just out of the school’s back door. Using this asset, Mrs. Dorunda instructs students through hands on demonstrations with the water, soil, plants, animals, rocks, and so on.

In addition, she has been the Envirothon team advisor for eight years.  The last two years YHS has brought the coveted first place trophy home triumphantly.  Her Envirothon teams have remained consistently competitive because she challenges them to think critically about what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply that knowledge to our world and the ecosystems we live in.

Mrs. Laura Dorunda also organizes and oversees the Youngsville Spring Science Symposium.  During this event, her students work collaboratively to create science displays that show what they’ve learned to their peers and the community.  You can see the light bulb in each student as they proudly explain their endeavors.  This type of learning is highly authentic and helps her students build life-long skills that extend far beyond high school.

A nomination letter stated that a teacher must entice each student to become the best they can be and Mrs. Dorunda does this.  Her energy and enthusiasm for science is inspirational to all around her.

2016 Forest Landowner of the Year

Warren County Conservation District also recognized Brian Christman as the 2016 Forest Landowner of the Year. Brian Christman owns 285 acres in Farmington, Sugar Grove and Pittsfield Townships. It is evident that Brian cares for the land and for the wildlife. When Brian first acquired property in Sugar Grove Township, he went to work right away planting trees and wildlife food plots.

Brian’s work has included stabilizing an access road, tree planting, habitat management, and wildlife food plots. The work that he does comes after very careful planning and research.  Not only is Brian doing good for the forest, he is always willing to invite others to the property to learn and explore.

Other Awards

Columbus, Deerfield, Pine Grove and Southwest Townships, and Sugar Grove Borough were acknowledged for their involvement in Warren County’s Dirt & Gravel Roads Program to create more environmentally and economically sustainable dirt and gravel roads in Pennsylvania.

David Miller was recognized for his 20 years of service on the Warren County Conservation District Board of Directors. David joined the Board in 1997 and served as its chairman for over 10 years.