Kathy Wine wins 2017 Hagie Heritage Award

By Haley Hodges on October 23, 2017 in Press Center


Contact: Joe Jayjack, 515-288-1846 ext. 19, jjayjack@inhf.org

Kathy WineDavenport resident Kathy Wine has been selected to receive the 2017 Lawrence and Eula Hagie Heritage Award. The Hagie Heritage Award is given annually by Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF), a nonprofit that works to protect and restore Iowa’s land, water and wildlife.

The award recognizes Iowans who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to conservation and improvement of the natural environment, and who encourage others to do the same.

“There's an opportunity in Iowa to create a culture of conservation if we stay at it,” Wine said. “When we started recycling everybody got involved in it and when they do it now, they feel like environmentalists. If we can get to that critical mass with conservation, we’ll be doing the same thing — creating a culture in which everyone considers themselves a conservationist.”

Wine was nominated for her work along the Mississippi River. She started River Action in 1985 after the farm and rust belt recession in the 1980s. River Action is a volunteer organization turned non-profit which focuses on the environmental, cultural and economic vitality of the Mississippi River in the region. By the mid 1990s, River Action had outgrown its volunteer status and saw Wine taking over as executive director. 

"Kathy Wine is a bold visionary and tenacious leader who invites the community to embrace the Mississippi River and its habitat by creating options for residents and visitors alike to touch the mighty Mississippi through bike trails, interpretative centers, reclamation of natural spaces, public design practices, art, education and economics," wrote Teri Goodman, one of Wine's nominators and the Assistant City Manager of Dubuque.

Wine and River Action’s work to connect the Quad Cities community to the Mississippi River promotes improved water quality and environmental education. They've done a variety of projects, including their initial start lighting the Centennial Bridge that connects the downtowns of Davenport to Rock Island, Illinois. 

Wine and River Action have also helped to pave the riverfront trails for biking, financed water taxis for the river, helped to acquire Nahant's Marsh and organize the Upper Mississippi River Conference that helps to get high school and college students involved as well.

“For over 30 years, Kathy’s vision, hard work, and capacity to engage others has raised awareness of the Mississippi’s resources, enhanced access to the river, improved and protected its ecosystem, and deepened the commitment of local Iowans and others to the Big River’s protection,” wrote Daniel Ray, one of Wine’s nominators.

The other finalists for the 2017 Hagie Award were Jean Crim Eells, of Webster City, and George and Trish Patrick, of Ames. 

The Hagie Heritage Award is endowed by Janice Hagie Shindel of Florida and Ila Jeanne Hagie Logan of Moville, IA, in honor of their parents, Lawrence and Eula Hagie. The Hagie grandchildren inherited a farm in Henry County and income from this farm was used to create the endowment for this award. 

The Hagie Heritage Award winner receives $1,000 and a hand carved acorn sculpture made by INHF members Dennis and Linda Schlicht of Center Point. A ceremony recognizing Wine's efforts and presentation of the award will be Wednesday, Nov. 1, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport. Please RSVP to Erin Griffin at 515-288-1846, ext. 11, or egriffin@inhf.org.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is a statewide nonprofit conservation group that works with private landowners and other partners to protect Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. Since its founding in 1979, INHF has helped protect more than 150,000 acres of Iowa’s wild places in 96 counties. For more information, visit inhf.org.