Over 200 friends of conservation turned out at Shaw Farms on September 13th for the 75th Annual Meeting of the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District. Prior to the official meeting, the district hosted an open house, where visitors could view photos and documents from years past, check out our new “augmented reality” sandbox, see antique tractors and take part in different Shaw Farm activities. Attendees also had a chance to visit with the Park District naturalist or the Newport Aquarium, which brought a sturgeon in a mobile fish tank funded by the Regional Storm Water Collaborative. The meeting got underway with the election of two board supervisors and a tasty meal by Taste of the Good Life Catering.
Several conservation partners were recognized for their 2017-2018 achievements in the conservation field. Ted Hollaender of Wayne Township was honored as the District’s Conservation Cooperator of the Year. Christa Burbage, 3rd grade teacher at Seipelt Elementary in Milford, was awarded the District’s Outstanding Conservation Teacher of the Year award.
Christa has taught in the Milford School District for 14 years, and has been committed to bringing agriculture into the classroom. She grew up surrounded by agriculture, with her family raising cattle as well as market hogs which were sold to 4-H’ers in Clermont County. For the past 14 years, Christa has organized an “Ag” day at Seipelt, where FFA members bring livestock for her students to see, touch and learn about first hand, and teach students about crop production, cuts of meat and how farming has changed over time.
Christa is passionate about providing her students with as many “real world” opportunities as possible. She coordinates with the Cincinnati Area Coral Reef Enthusiasts so her students can learn about ecosystems in a hands on manner. In her classroom, she plans a week of science stations for each unit so that the students get an opportunity to work together on experiments and group projects. She and her students have also built a butterfly garden to provide habitat for monarchs.
The Clermont County Commissioners and the Ohio Congress and Governor’s office presented the award recipients with proclamations recognizing their accomplishments and dedication to promoting good land stewardship.
The district would like to extend a special thank-you to all individuals and businesses who donated funds or door prizes to help make the 2018 conservation banquet a great success.