Cooperator of the Year and Other Awards

Charles Smith and Chuck Craft Recognized with
2012 Cooperator of the Year and Special Appreciation Awards

There are many unsung heroes of Fairfax County staff. Two of them - Charles Smith, Natural Resources Branch Manager for the Park Authority, and Chuck Craft, General Superintendent for the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services - have been recognized by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. Charles Smith was named the 2012 Cooperator of the Year, an award that recognizes partnership to protect and conserve soil, water, and related natural resources in Fairfax County. Chuck Craft was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for his outstanding partnership over many years.

Charles Smith Accepts 2012 Cooperator of the Year AwardSmith has collaborated with NVSWCD staff on many projects over the years, including rain garden projects at the Packard Center, as well as Audrey Moore, Mt. Vernon and Cub Run Recreation Centers. He also facilitated a stream restoration at Wakefield Recreation Center. NVSWCD staff frequently relies on Smith’s expertise and assistance. Jean Packard, chairman of the NVSWCD Board of Directors said, “Charles is so easy to work with. He is collaborative and has what it takes to get the job done. He is a very deserving recipient of this award.”

Smith told those gathered that, "The staff at Soil and Water makes it very easy to cooperate." He added, “I have been honored to work with them on so many projects over the past years that have been truly collaborative efforts.” NVSWCD staff has worked with Smith to provide soils information and technical assistance reviewing site plans.

Chuck Craft Accepts Special Appreciation AwardCraft has partnered with the NVSWCD staff to organize the Annual Land Conservation Awards program. Under his leadership, the entire program runs smoothly, from the nomination of projects and the semi-annual site judging to the culminating awards ceremony. Craft has also assisted with numerous issues associated with land development and construction during his tenure at the County. Packard said, "Chuck, we value your wisdom, your judgment and your partnership."

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The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District annually recognizes individuals or groups who work in partnership with the district to protect and conserve natural resources in Fairfax County. Other recent honorees include:

Fairfax Master Naturalists recognized as 2011 Cooperator of the Year by NVSWCDThe Fairfax Master Naturalists is a cadre of volunteers that has been growing since 2007. Their 138 active naturalists (as of 2011) are trained in the field and classroom and have contributed countless volunteer hours to environmental projects. Fairfax Master Naturalists have partnered, volunteered and taken a leadership role with a number of prominent environmental programs with the Soil and Water Conservation District. The group was a co-sponsor and partner of the Watershed-Friendly Garden Tour. Members have served as organizational judges for the Fairfax County Science and Technology Fair. Master Naturalist volunteers are long-term biological stream monitors, sampling stream bugs and critters at a number of sites around the county to measure stream health. They have also led neighborhood storm drain labeling projects to educate residents about the watershed they live in and the importance of keeping local streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay clean.

NVSWCD engineer Asad Rouhi consults with Jeanette Stewart about a rain garden Jeanette Stewart is education director for EcoStewards Alliance and president of Yorktowne Square Condominium Association. Stewart not only is an advocate for the environment, she is a model for environmental stewardship. NVSWCD staff has taught Stewart much about stream restoration, stormwater management concepts, and rain gardens. In return, she has enhanced the district’s visibility by giving us design and implementation opportunities and expanding our outreach and education programs. Some of our cooperative projects include the large rain garden at Yorktowne Square, smaller rain gardens at Daniels Run Elementary School, and nonpoint source pollution education materials. Stewart has influenced thousands of school children and teachers in Northern Virginia who have participated in her original Sharing Our Space earth-based educational lessons. Stewart also created a 10,000 square foot certified backyard wildlife habitat at Yorktowne Square.

Diana Handy plants shrubs at Snakeden BranchIn 2003, Diana Handy was the Reston Association’s Watershed Manager. As a certified stream monitor, she promotes the district’s monitoring program in the Reston area, coordinating sites and training and certifying other volunteers. Handy launched the Reston Watershed Action Group, leads watershed cleanups, and assists the district in many educational and outreach programs at public events and in high schools. In 2003, Handy worked closely with district staff in restoring a highly eroded 200-foot stretch of Snakeden Branch. This project marks the start of the implementation phase of the Reston Association’s new watershed management plan. Handy was a key figure in the development of that plan.

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  • Charles Smith, 2012 Cooperator of the Year
  • Fairfax Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists, 2011 Cooperator of the Year (see description above)
  • B.J. Sistani, Code Analysis, DPWES, 2010 Cooperator of the Year
  • Angler Environmental, 2009 Cooperator of the Year
  • Jim McGlone, 2008 Cooperator of the Year
  • Fairfax County Public Schools - Maintenance Division, 2007 Cooperator of the Year
  • Resource Management Division, FCPA, 2006 Cooperator of the Year
  • Maintenance and Stormwater Management, 2005 Cooperator of the Year
  • Jeanette Stewart, 2004 Cooperator of the Year (see description above)
  • Diana Handy, 2003 Cooperator of the Year (see description above)
  • Laura Grape, 2002 Cooperator of the Year
  • Steve Aitcheson, 2001 Cooperator of the Year
  • Norma Hoffman, 2000 Cooperator of the Year
  • DPWES Utilities Planning and Design, 1999 Cooperator of the Year
  • Judy Okay, 1998 Cooperator of the Year
  • Sherry Penney, 1997 Cooperator of the Year
  • Friends of Sugarland Run, 1996 Cooperator of the Year
  • Walter Hamilton, 1995 Cooperator of the Year
  • Shep Oliver, 1994 Cooperator of the Year
  • Supervisor Gerry Hyland, 1993 Cooperator of the Year
  • Cindy Zimar; James Frazier, 1992 Cooperator of the Year
  • Mrs. Hiu Newcomb, 1991 Cooperator of the Year
  • Bernie Parsons, 1990 Cooperator of the Year
  • Lake Barcroft Watershed Improvement District, 1989 Cooperator of the Year
  • Union Camp Corporation, 1988 Cooperator of the Year
  • Bill Sheads, 1987 Cooperator of the Year
  • Mike Wagner, 1986 Cooperator of the Year
  • Col Spalding, 1985 Cooperator of the Year
  • John Koenig, 1984 Cooperator of the Year
  • Joe Flakne, 1983 Cooperator of the Year
  • Arlington-Fairfax Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, 1982 Cooperator of the Year
  • Col. Bill Smith, 1981 Cooperator of the Year
  • Shouse Homeowners Association, 1980 Cooperator of the Year

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