The fifth annual Heroes of Conservation awards were presented today at the Munson Township Hall. Since 2015, Protect Geauga Parks has held an awards event to honor citizens of Geauga County who have made extraordinary contributions to the preservation and protection of natural lands and resources. The 2019 award recipients are Tom Curtin, former Executive Director of the Geauga Park District, Duane Ferris who was the first Park Naturalist hired by the Geauga Park District and Ann Malmquist, who founded the Native Plant Society of Northeast Ohio and was a strong advocate for the protection of land from the pollution caused by drilling and mining activities.
Also receiving awards at the event were three high school students who received the Bob McCullough Memorial Scholarship Award, a $1000 scholarship to help fund their first year of college. The students are, Kaylie Malloy of Chardon High School, Kaden Knake of West Geauga High School and Amy Weeks-Dunham of Hershey Montessori School. The three students all exhibited a strong interest in pursuing studies in the natural sciences and have demonstrated their commitment to conservation through projects and independent research.
Protect Geauga Parks wishes to thank the Foundation for Geauga Parks for a generous grant which funded one of the scholarships this year.
This event provides Geauga County with the opportunity to recognize those among us who have given so much over many years so that we and future generations will have the many benefits of a public park system that protects natural areas, wildlife and water resources while also providing the community with tremendous educational and recreational opportunities.
Kathy Hanratty, President of Protect Geauga Parks, introduces the program.
Music by Ella Cole
Bob Coughlin gave an inspiring poetry reading.
Richard McCullough gave an introduction to the Bob McCullough Memorial Conservation Scholarship Awards.
Kaden Knake of West Geauga High School
Kaylie Malloy of Chardon High School
Amy Weeks-Dunham of Hershey Montessori School
The 2019 Bob McCullough Memorial Scholarship Award winners, Kaylie Malloy, Kaden Knake, and Amy Weeks-Dunham.
David Malmquist introduced the award for his mother, Ann Malmquist.
Dan Best introduced the award for Duane Ferris.
Accepting on behalf of Duane Ferris were his granddaughter, Laura Connors, and his daughter, Bethanie Ferris Connors who came from Michigan to attend the event.
Former Geauga Park District Commissioner, John Leech, introduced the award for Tom Curtin.
Katherine, David and Eric Malmquist
Bethanie Ferris Connors and Laura Connors
Heidi and Tom Curtin