15th Annual Portage County

Environmental Conservation Awards Dinner

Saturday, April 27th, 6-9:00 p.m.


Portage Park District 


Hundreds of individuals, organizations and businesses contributed cash and silent auction donations to support the Park District's maintenance of parks and trails.  

 Our lead sponsors are Davey Expert Tree Company and

Kent State University

Download the complete list of donors and sponsors HERE

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Front row, left to right: Ashley Hendricks, Nicole Miller, Amber Myers, Fred Pierre

Second Row, left to right: Heidi Shaffer, Amie Pierre, Elizabeth Ryan, Mary Jane Stone, Daniel Ryan, Jeff Ingram, Caroline Arnold, Edith Chase

Back Row, left to right: Gwen Fischer, Stan Fischer, Lee Schaefer, Josh Goran, Alyssa D’Amico, John Gargan, Tim Taylor, Lynne Duchon

Over 300 individuals, organizations and businesses from across Portage County contributed to the recent 15th Annual Portage County Environmental Conservation Awards celebration. Held at the American Legion Hall in Kent on April 27, the evening focused on the 2013 Environmental Conservation Awards, with six individual and group awards in various categories.  The event started with a reception featuring local food appetizers, live music by Portage County the Bluestones Duo and a silent auction.  Prior to the awards presentation, recently retired Park Commissioner Jim Tucker was saluted for his 15 years of generous volunteer service and wise governance of the Park District.

This year’s awardees include:

  • Lee Schaefer, Stewardship          Park District Volunteer
  • Ken Riley, Environmental Education        Waterloo High School Science Teacher
  • Stan & Gwen Fischer, Environmental Activism    Volunteers working for land conservation and clean water
  • Berlin Lake Association, Stewardship      Non-profit organization cleaning shorelines and supporting trails
  • Kent Natural Foods Cooperative, Green Business             Decades of working together to provide and promote healthy foods and healthy communities
  • Edith Chase, Lifetime Achievement         A lifetime of dedication to learning, educating and advocating for environmental protection, with wisdom and humor.

Kent Environmental Council also honored Edith Chase’s extensive contributions over the years by creating the “Edith Chase Conservation Award” which they will award as appropriate in future years. 

Following the awards presentation, Christine Craycroft, Executive Director, spoke about the past, present and potential future of the Portage Park District.  She was followed by Tom Clapper, Chair of Citizens for Portage Parks, a group working to establish adequate and stable funding for parks and trails. The event was a fundraiser sponsored by the Portage Park District Foundation, with proceeds of over $21,000 going to support ongoing maintenance and operations. The Park District does not have a tax levy to support it, and recent budget cuts made the fundraiser all the more valuable.

Special thanks to the Dinner Planning committee led by Karen Wise, Chair: Beth Buchanan, Deb Butler, Stevie and Jay Byrne, Christine Craycroft, Tracey Knierim, Scott McKinney, George Rose, Jane Preston Rose, Kurt Ruehr, Marilyn Sessions, Linda Seeman and Barbara Watson.

Descriptions of the awardees and a list of the contributors to this year’s event can be found on the Park District’s website www.portageparkdistrict.org, or call (330) 297-7728 for more information.