(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) honored the leadership and conservation achievements of Bradford County Conservation District Manager Mike Lovegreen by recognizing his lifetime achievements with the CBF 2013 Conservationist of the Year Award. Lovegreen was honored by nearly one hundred colleagues, friends, and CBF staff at the state Capitol on June 25th. Many had traveled several hours to celebrate his achievements.
A true conservationist and advocate for the environment, Mike's commitment as Manager of the Bradford County Conservation District has spanned more than thirty years. During that time he and his staff have been valued partners, with many clean water achievements for local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.
"Mike has steadfastly dedicated years of service to innovatively tackling challenging and complex issues not only because it was good, but because it was right," said Harry Campbell, CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director. "For more than 30 years the district has delivered conservation programs comprehensively and creatively, demonstrating how multiple programs can be integrated and leveraged to deliver a broad array of benefits.
"The Bradford County Conservation District continually brings much-needed technical assistance to farmers and landowners as they wade through state and federal conservation programs, requirements, and opportunities. Under his leadership, the district led a comprehensive watershed-wide effort to restore the impaired Stephen Foster Lake from phosphorus pollution. Today, water quality in the lake is on the verge of being fully restored.
"Conservation Districts are an invaluable asset to the Commonwealth," continued Campbell. "Our communities, our environment, and our economy are all better today because of their commitment.
"The CBF Lifetime Achievement award is the highest award given infrequently by CBF to only those most deserving individuals whose long-standing dedication and achievement to saving the Chesapeake Bay merits special recognition.
"I have had the continued privilege of working with the most dedicated, talented, and personable groups of people—each focused on the noblest of missions, said Lovegreen. "We have learned the true value of thecapabilities of our many, and varied partners. By finding win-win solutions and piecing together the abilities and talents of those partners, without thought of credit, we get some amazing things done on the ground.
"When Lovegreen was first hired in 1980 the district office had only two employees and a budget around $10,000. Today, through Mike's leadership, partnerships, and perseverance, seventeen employees are supported by a robust budget of approximately $1.5 million.
"Mike has always been ahead of the curve and sets a high bar for others to follow," said Jennifer Johns, CBF's Stream Buffer Specialist. Johns covers the Bradford County area and has worked with Mike for fourteen years. "His ability to make connections, grow partnerships, and build relationships has been instrumental to his success."
Lovegreen was also honored with congratulatory citations sponsored by State Senator Gene Yaw and Representatives Tina Pickett and Matthew Baker for his years of service, leadership, and contributions to improving Bradford County and the Chesapeake Bay.
"Mike has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to our region. Under his leadership, he and his staff have worked closely with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to implement best management practices that integrate and deliver positive results to our ground and waterways," said Yaw. "I applaud Mike on his dedication to our region over these past 33 years and congratulate him on receiving this prestigious award."
<>"During my years as both a county commissioner and state representative, it has been a pleasure to have worked with Mike on a number of conservation issues in Bradford County," said Pickett. "His three-plus decades of service to the people of Bradford County have demonstrated his long-standing commitment to conservation issues and the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay and watershed. I'm pleased to see Mike receive this recognition, which is more than deserved."
"Mike has performed his duties with great honor, integrity, and in a spirit of servant leadership," said Baker. "I commend him for his many years of faithful public service that has exemplified a strong work ethic worthy of others to emulate. Mike leaves a legacy of success and accomplishments which will loom large in Bradford County communities for a long time."
In many ways, Mike demonstrates what can be done when governments, businesses, and citizens work together for clean water. It with great pleasure that CBF honors Mike Lovegreen with the 2013 Conservationist of the Year Award for his lifetime achievements.