Lower Nehalem Community Trust seeks 2016 Ferdun Conservation Award nominees to honor ‘Oregon coast heroes’

Alder Creek Farm with Onion Peak in the distance. The Farm was LNCT’s first conservation project. (Photo by Dale Cramer Burr)
By Robert Wynia

MANZANITA, Ore. – The Lower Nehalem Community Trust is seeking nominees for the 2016 Ferdun Conservation Award, inspired by Georgenne and Gareth Ferdun who helped found Lower Nehalem Community Trust and have passionately pursued land preservation and habitat restoration in our region. Each year, the award honors a special conservation hero in the area, and now is the time to submit your hero for consideration.

“We wanted to recognize local conservation work in our watershed,” said Georgenne Ferdun, “because conservation begins at home. We thought this would be a good way of bringing attention to what people really can do.”

Who is eligible? Absolutely anyone, regardless of age, who has made an inspiring and compelling contribution to conservation in the Nehalem region of the Oregon coast. Past award winners are naturalist, photographer, and North Coast Land Conservancy founder Neal Maine, and Lower Nehalem Watershed Council and Lower Nehalem Community Trust co-founder Doug Firstbrook.

A hero you know may have led an initiative that benefited all species, volunteered countless hours to restore land, created a school project that demonstrated keen insight and innovation, taught a workshop that changed your life, advocated for legislation to support conservation, designed a backyard habitat devoted to native plants, trees, and shrubs … the possibilities of conservation heroism are limitless!

The winner of the award will receive a beautiful, inscribed bowl, designed and thrown by LNCT’s board chair, Allan Olson, of Nehalem Bay Pottery. The award will be presented at this year’s Living Locally fundraiser, held Saturday, June 4 – this year at our beloved Alder Creek Farm in Nehalem.

Nominations are due April 1.

To nominate your hero please send your name and contact information and an explanation of how your nominee has contributed to conservation in the Nehalem region to LNCT, Box 496, Manzanita, OR 97130 or email lnct@nehalemtrust.org with “2016 Ferdun Conservation Award” in the subject line.

Current staff and board members of Lower Nehalem Community Trust are ineligible for the award. To learn more about the Ferdun Conservation Award and Lower Nehalem Community Trust, visit www.nehalemtrust.org.

In other news, the Lower Nehalem Community Trust is proud to welcome Dan Carroll and Jim Pendergrass as members of the Board of Directors. These two remarkable individuals join the board at an exciting time, and will be invaluable guiding LNCT in its ongoing mission to preserve land and nurture conservation values in partnership with an engaged community in the Nehalem region of the Oregon coast.

Dan Carroll bio photo
Alder Creek Farm with Onion Peak in the distance. The Farm was LNCT’s first conservation project. (Photo by Dale Cramer Burr)

A resident of Nehalem, Dan is co-founder of Nehalem Valley Naturals, an organic farm. About his joining the Board, Dan said, “I started working on behalf of wetlands conservation organizations 30 years ago at the age of 21. As an avid water fowler spending at least 25 days each year in marshes around the country, I have seen firsthand the effects of wetlands loss on not only waterfowl, but also on all of the species that rely on these dwindling habitats. Like my camp sites, I would like to leave this world in better shape than when I found it.”

Jim is a retired banker with Wells Fargo, and has been active in land trust and watershed council work around the state for more than 20 years. He joins LNCT’s Board of Directors as treasurer. Jim knows the preservation of special lands and restoration of watershed environments is part of what makes Oregon such a great place to live, that LNCT is a unique organization, and Alder Creek Farm a particular jewel.

Jim Pendergrass - board pic
Jim Pendergrass (Courtesy photo)

“I’ve worked with watershed organizations around Oregon for a long time,” said Jim on joining the Board. “And I know that preserving and restoring key watershed lands is an important part of maintaining healthy fish and bird populations in the Nehalem system. The Trust’s commitment to that and its work at Alder Creek Farm to provide garden produce to the local food bank are efforts I’m excited to be a part of.”

Their influence and assistance will be significant in managing and guiding Trust activities in the coming years. LNCT takes on many roles in the Nehalem region, including the stewardship and protection of precious lands, community education projects, and contributions of fresh organic produce to the North County Food Bank from the Community Garden at the Trust’s Alder Creek Farm. With extensive background knowledge in a broad array of fields from wetland conservation to financial management to organic farming, both Dan and Jim provide deeply informed guidance that will serve LNCT well for years to come.

Jim and Dan join current board members Allan Olson, chair; David Sip, secretary; Casey Storey; Jeremy Sappington; and Nancy Chase. For more information on LNCT and its Board of Directors, or to inquire about joining the board, please visit www.nehalemtrust.org.

Robert Wynia is Lower Nehalem Community Trust development director.

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