ERWIA: Water Conservationist of the year! January 2008

Elk River Watershed Improvement Association (ERWIA) and Missouri Department of Conservation education consultant, Jeff Cantrell, were the recipients of top conservation awards at the Conservation Federation of Missouri’s annual awards ceremony held Feb. 22 at Lake of the Ozarks. ERWIA was honored as the Water Conservationist of the Year, and Cantrell was awarded Conservation Educator of the Year.
Water conservationist of the year
ERWIA volunteers work on a wide range of projects from working with towns on “Streets-to-Streams,” to helping Crowder College on an advanced on-site sewage system training and demonstration center. This group also presents “Stream Dynamics for Landowners,” in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). One of ERWIA’s most enjoyable partnership projects is presenting a two-day watershed festival to all of the 5th graders in McDonald County. Several members of ERWIA’s educational committee have visited over 300 students, discussing watershed awareness and presenting a film called “After the Storm.” This active groups future plans are receiving grant funding and greatly expanding the number of citizens and community leaders who make it part of their normal day-to-day activities to help improve and protect streams in the Elk River watershed. ERWIA also plans to recognize citizens and organizations for their commitment to water conservation by presenting awards and useful gifts. ERWIA members are an exceptional group of people who love the natural resources of McDonald County. They work hard to preserve these through education, example and assistance.

Conservation Educator of the year
Jeff Cantrell is the MDC Education Consultant from Neosho. He is a true professional and a passionate and dedicated educator. Cantrell has a passion for the outdoors and for inspiring others to make a difference in the environment. Cantrell’s involvement and efforts with ERWIA includes encouraging the local Latino community to become actively involved with and committed to maintaining quality water resources in the area.