Hagie Heritage Award presented in Decorah
On Friday, Nov. 13, INHF presented the annual Lawrence & Eula Hagie Heritage Award to Mary Lewis and Beth Lynch at Phelps Park in Decorah, Iowa.
The Hagie award recognizes Iowans who devote outstanding personal service to Iowa's natural heritage and who encourage others to do the same. This year’s recipients showed a dedication to conservation with their efforts to remove invasive garlic mustard from Decorah-area parks.
The ceremony began at 4 p.m. with over 60 people in attendance. A reception was then held at T-Bock’s Sports Bar and Grill.
“It was a chance for people of similar passion for the environment to connect, get excited, exchange ideas,” said Mary Lewis. “It’s so good to have the work recognized and let people know it really is possible to restore our woodlands. This is a huge honor for me and Beth, and rightfully belongs also to all the people who have helped over the years in this effort.”
Lynch and Lewis are current and former Luther College biology instructors, respectively, and have dedicated their time inside and outside the classroom to many causes, including the removal of garlic mustard from Decorah parks.
“The Hagie Award often recognizes volunteers, but it can also go to conservation professionals who are going above and beyond their professional duties,” said Brian Fankhauser, INHF’s blufflands program director. “Beth and Mary are a perfect example of that. Not only do they teach students about biology, ecology and other conservation subjects, they also saw a need in the community and took it upon themselves to do something about it. And they’ve inspired others to do something as well.”