5 Sturgis Corner Drive, Suite 1250, Iowa City, IA 52246
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Conservation Award info

1989 Aaron Basten for his prairie and forest restorations on his acreage near Solon.
1990 Fred Stamler for preserving the 212-acre Hanging Rock Ridge property near East Amana and arranging for its sale to the Iowa DNR.
1991 Karole and Jim Fuller “for providing a center for ornithological information for bird lovers over the state” and Karole “for creative educational activities and dedication to widening horizons of understanding and protecting our natural world.”
1992 Barbie Mann – “Over the past several years, Barbie Mann has developed ponds, wetlands, and prairie, and planted thousands of trees” on her land near Cosgrove and been “a soil conservation service volunteer.”
1993 Sandy Rhodes for raising local awareness of endangered native species.
1994 Sycamore Farms Co., a real estate development company consisting of Jim Miller, Greg Apel, and Steve Bright – for dedicating 191 acres to wetlands and conservation in a 422-acre tract being annexed by Iowa City for development.
1995 Tina Bourjaily for combined sale and donation of 449 acres of her land to the Iowa DNR.
1996 Nancy Seiberling – in recognition of her years of service to conservation, through the JCHT and other organizations she has led and served in.
1997 Kate Klaus in recognition of her leadership in the Heritage Trees of Iowa City project.
1998 Dick Baker for his leadership in local, state, and international conservation activities.
1999 Russell Bennett for work with the Johnson Co. Secondary Roads Dept. in protecting native flora.
2000 Mark Mueller – “for raising awareness regarding prairie habitat in Iowa through his artwork.”
2001 Mary Somerville & Diana Horton – Mary for putting together a partnership between the JCSWCD and Board of Supervisors to initiate the Creek Sign Project; Diana for her teaching, her curating of the U. of I. Herbarium, and many activities to protect native areas around Iowa.
2002 Lon Drake for extensive work in environmental remediation and reclamation, his teaching, and his example as a committed conservationist.
2003 Connie Mutel for years of work studying the natural history of Iowa and Johnson Co., including her most recent leadership in fighting garlic mustard.
2004 Friends of Hickory Hill Park for past and continuing work “to protect the wild nature of the Park,” through restorations, elimination of invasive species, education, co-operation with the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Dept., and other means.
2005 Bob Sayre for his dynamic four-year presidency of the JCHT during which the organization greatly expanded its activities, and for being a life-time advocate of preserving our natural heritage.
2006 Dale Shires for his efforts coordinating efforts to develop a watershed protection plan for the Clear Creek Watershed.
2007 Kathie Belgum – for David and Kathie’s contribution of Belgum Grove and for their ongoing support of JCHT’s mission.
2008 The Gelman Family for the cooperative donation of Turkey Creek by Gloria and Webster along with Tom Gelman’s unselfish giving of his time and talents to support JCHT’s mission and assist with land acquisition, among many other things.
2009 Wayne Petersen – career conservationist, has dedicated a lifetime to water and soil conservation. Providing leadership and direction for the reconstruction of 15-acre prairie at Belgum grove, recreation of an oak savanna, and the reconstruction of water control structure resulting in creation of a 3-acre water feature.
2010 Don Bolin and Terry Dahms – Don is often referred to as “a one-man army” for his efforts on Johnson County Heritage Trust’s Big Grove property. He has pretty much single handedly removed nearly all of the invasive species on that 40-acre parcel of land. Terry Dahms has provided countless hours converting JCHT’s Shimek Ravine from a jungle into what will be a pristine “park-like” 13 acres of oak-hickory forest near Shimek Elementary School.
2011 Dan Black has worked tirelessly as Co-Property Manager of Johnson County Heritage Trust’s Belgum Grove Property during and since JCHT’s campaign “Bringing Iowa Back to Belgum Grove.” Dan has provided his equipment and many hours coordinating work groups and working to assist in installation of a 5-acre water feature, a wetland, and reconstructing a prairie.
2012 Casey Kohrt serves as Johnson County Heritage Trust’s Strub Prairie and Co-Manager of Pappy Dickens Preserve. Casey was instrumental in assisting to acquire both properties and has helped identify properties in and around Johnson County that have preservation value.
2013 Dick Schwab has served as Turkey Creek Property Manager and President of the JCHT Board during a major time of growth for the organization. Dick has aided Johnson County Heritage Trust not only by his leadership as President, but also by continuing to serve on JCHT’s Governance and Resource Development Committees.
2014 Larry and Miechelle Weber for their commitment to preserving and restoring Old Man’s Timber, eighty acres of high-quality upland woodland and floodplain forest along Old Man’s and Old Woman’s creeks, plus a three-acre planted prairie. This mature, relatively pristine timber—a rarity in Iowa—is one of Johnson County’s major private conservation properties.
2015 Lorie Reins-Schweer for her 12-year Board service to Bur Oak Land Trust, a time when the Trust significantly expanded land preservation and also expanded capabilities by moving from an all-volunteer organization to one with staff. Lorie’s financial and legal skills were indispensable and she was always passionate about protecting land and water.
2016 Mark Vitosh for his relentless advocacy for ecological restoration of Iowa’s woodlands. Mark is also a O’Mara-Newport Woods Property Steward.
2017 Zac Wedemeyer/Taproot for founding Taproot, a non-profit organization that strives to create a vibrant community of families and individuals by offering a wide variety of sustainability and environmental educational experiences. Zac and his charges are often out on Bur Oak properties to learn about and enjoy our natural places.
2018 Sharon and Gary Lust for their foresight and dedication in protecting their land by placing a 148-acre conservation easement on their property and for Sharon’s tireless dedication to our office, contributing many hours weekly to keep our records straight.
2019 Barbara Beaumont and Kurt Hamann for being lifelong conservationists. Barbara and Kurt first placed a conservation easement on 40 acres of their woodland with Bur Oak Land Trust and later donating the parcel to the Trust.