Four local volunteers were recognized for their exceptional community service at the Methow Conservancy’s annual holiday social and awards program on Tuesday (Dec. 4).
Davis Lake area resident Scott Stluka was presented with the Susie Stephens Award for his extraordinary volunteer service over the past three years, according to a Conservancy press release.
The award has been given annually for 13 years in memory of Susie Stephens, who served as the Methow Conservancy’s development director in the early 2000s. The award recognizes individuals who carry on her endless energy for helping others, and her strong belief that education about conservation can make a difference.
Stluka has donated hundreds of hours to restoration work, trail maintenance, barbed wire removal and other projects on conserved lands, the press release said. “His never-say-no approach to volunteering inspires others to sweat on behalf of a place they love,” the release said.
Hannah Dewey, outreach coordinator and community organizer for the Methow Headwaters Campaign, earned the You Inspire Us Award for her powerful, strategic and collaborative work in building a critical mass of diverse support for the local effort to make the upper Methow Headwaters off-limits to industrial-scale mining.
Methow Conservancy Executive Director Jason Paulsen noted, “From day one, Hannah recognized the importance of building a big tent of diverse people who see that the Methow Valley headwaters are too special to mine. She’s always paying attention to every detail and she has a truly graceful way of bringing diverse people together around their love for this valley. She reminds us what it means to build a powerful movement.” The Methow Conservancy initiated the You Inspire Us Award in 2014 to recognize people or organizations who have been inspirational to the staff and board of the organization, and who have, through their good work, inspired action and positive change in the whole community.
Tina and Eliot Scull were named as this year’s Ken White Award winners. The award recognizes individuals or organizations with a long-standing history of inspiring conservation efforts in the Methow Valley. Ken White, long- known as the Methow’s naturalist shared his deep passion for appreciating this special Valley with anyone interested.
The Conservancy recognized the Sculls for their life-long commitment to conservation in north central Washington. Active with the Methow Conservancy, the Chelan Douglas Land Trust, the Wenatchee Foothills Project, and integral to the success of Pearrgyin Lake State Park, they have always chosen to get involved and do what’s right for the land, the Conservancy said.
This past year, they established the Tina Scull Conservation and Stewardship Opportunity Fund for the Methow Conservancy, thereby enabling the Conservancy to conserve and protect the Heckendorn property just outside of Winthrop.
Methow Conservancy Associate Director Sarah Brooks noted, “Tina and Eliot have already inspired others to think about living their conservation legacy, rather than leaving one in their estate. Their gift gave us a chance to make a real community win possible and they have had the joy of getting to be here to see it all unfold. They have truly set the bar for what it means to be community visionaries.”
The program featured a presentation from the University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology’s Conservation Canines program.
For more information on the organization’s awards and to see past recipients, visit methowconservancy.org/awards.html.