Piscataquis County district receives award

Posted Feb. 16, 2011, at 11:27 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT,  Maine — The application of need was so compelling that the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District recently won one of two national awards sponsored by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

The Piscataquis County district was given the “2010 Award for Defining Conservation Equipment Needs for the Future,” and as such received $2,000 to help purchase a self-propelled bush mower for the district’s trails at its Demonstration Forest in Williamsburg Township and the Law Farm in Dover-Foxcroft.

Thomas Gordon, the Maine Association of Conservation District’s executive director, accepted the cash prize and plaque earlier this month on behalf of the Piscataquis district at the National Association of Conservation District’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

“I’m very pleased with it,” Felix Blinn of Brownville, the county’s chairman, said Monday. “It shows the work that has been put out by the staff in helping conservation efforts in this county.”

Blinn especially recognized Shelia Richard, the district’s executive director and educational coordinator, who filed the application.

Gordon made the presentation to the county officials Monday in Dover-Foxcroft. He said every state and American territory were represented at the annual meeting. The association’s second award, The “Excellence in Conservation Equipment and Technology Use” went to Washakie County Conservation District in Worland, Wyo.

“I think they [the association’s judges] thought this was the best example of need,” Gordon said Monday.

The district has relied heavily on volunteers in the past to bush hog and trim back the fields, according to Richard. The bush mower will help alleviate the burden on those volunteers, she noted.