Conservationists Recognized for Making a Difference

(Clockwise): Rep. Keller, Sonia Wasco, Brooke Russick, and SCC.

Several conservationists were recognized during the PACD Executive Council meeting online on July 23, 2020.

“These individuals are shining stars among Pennsylvania’s 66 conservation districts. Today we recognize their efforts going above and beyond for clean water and healthy soil,” said Brenda Shambaugh, PACD Executive Director. “Congratulations to all these individuals and organizations on this recognition.”

The 2020 PACD honorees are as follows:

Legislator Leadership Award
Representative Mark Keller (PA 86th District)
The Perry County Conservation District nominated representative Mark Keller. He is currently in his eighth and last term representing the 86th Legislative District in Perry and Cumberland counties. He serves as chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

President’s Award
Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission
The Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission (SCC) provides financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program. Starting in 2018, the SCC provided funding to hire a full-time program coordinator. This position allows consistent and regular training for conservation district directors, associate directors, and staff.

Ann Rudd Saxman Conservation District Director Excellence Award
Sonia Wasco (Lancaster County)
Sonia Wasco has been connected to and supported the Lancaster County Conservation District (LCCD) for more than 40 years. Sonia is currently serving as a director on the LCCD board of directors for 12 years after serving as an Associate Director for ten years. She is also an active member of the PACD Executive Board, serving as treasurer. Sonia’s most unique and priceless volunteer work benefitting generations of students is her passion for serving as the co-director of the Lancaster County Youth Conservation School.

Conservation District Employee Excellence Award
Brooke Russick (Indiana County)
Brooke has worked for the Indiana County Conservation District for five years. She started as a watershed specialist, then moved to the Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Program specialist position. Through this position, Brooke built relationships with nearly every municipality in the county. These relationships allow the district to receive $1.5 million in requests for program funding each year. Brooke goes above and beyond to maintain the highest level of quality for the projects.

Conservation District Employee Service Recognition Program Awards

30 Years of Service
• Susan Gallagher, Chief Naturalist, Carbon County
• David Stoner, District Manager, Franklin County
• JoAnn McCready, District Manager, Lawrence County
• Patrick McKinney, Environmental Education Coordinator, Schuylkill County
•Keith Largent, E&S Technician, Somerset County
• Sylvia Thompson, Fiscal Coordinator/Bookkeeper II, Wayne County

35 Years of Service
• Donna Fisher, District Manager, Blair County
• Robert Sweitzer, District Manager (retired), Centre County
• Roger Spotts, Head Naturalist, Monroe County
• Mark Kimmel, District Manager, York County

Click here to read the entire press release. 

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