Approximately 200 people turned out for the Auglaize County Soil and Water Conservation District’s (ACSWCD) 65th annual meeting and election at the St. Joseph Parish Life Center on Tuesday night.
When the election was tallied to conclude the program, incumbents John Schwarck and Allen Imwalle retained the two open spots.
“That was a pretty good turnout,” Schwarck said. “I was happy with the election results because I feel this board is working very well together. We just don’t sit and talk about what we could do to improve conservation efforts, we are out there doing it.
“I found it very complimentary of the ACSWCD of the number of people that turned out,” he said. “And they represented all four corners of the county.
Schwarck was named to his sixth three-year term on the board. Imwalle was elected to his third.
Prior to announcing the election results, Auglaize County Engineer Doug Reinhart gave a brief update on water quality assumption in the county after cleanup efforts in area creeks and watersheds.
“The assumption is when you remove trees and other debris from the water, that you are sterilizing the environment,” Reinhart said.
“There are studies that have proved this wrong.”
Reinhart showed video evaluations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studying the water quality and finding many species of fish and bugs that tend to only flourish in cleaner water supplies in the county.
“I’ve told other people to come to our county and look,” Reinhart said.
ACSWD Technical Administrator T.J. Place gave a brief update on many of the county’s ditch and watershed projects, and showed pictures of improvements that have been made. He also spoke of the success of the Kettler Ditch project that was completed last year in St. Marys Township for a cost of $321,000.
“It is one of the largest ditches we have ever done,” Place said.
Auglaize County farmers Chris and Georgiana Schroer were recognized with the 2011 Outstanding Cooperator Award from the ACSWCD and also were recognized by Senator Cliff Hite (R) for their conservation actions. Lou Brown was recognized for receiving the state Ohio Environmental Stewardship Award recently at the Ohio State Fair. Wapakoneta 2011 graduate Kaylee Fisher was announced as this year’s winner of the 2011 scholarship.
Several students from Waapakoneta, Mister and New Bremen also were recognized for recent efforts in a soil and water judging contest that was held.