Hagie Award Winner 2005: Lloyd and Gaylan Crim
For 2005 Lawrence and Eula Hagie Heritage Awardrecipients Lloyd and Gaylan Crim, the subtle delights of the natural world are ample reward for more than 30 years of conservation work.
Since they were students of fisheries and wildlife biology at Iowa State University, conservation and the Crims have gone hand-in-hand. Many of the couple’s current conservation projects have spanned well over a decade. They include Lloyd’s leadership of public prairie walks through Story County’s Doolittle Prairie and Gaylan’s dedication to caring for a pair of trumpeter swans at the Mabaska Ponds site of the Iowa DNR’s Trumpeter Swan Restoration Project.
“We enjoy seeing things change over the years—not necessarily for good or bad, just different,” said Lloyd. “Doing things repeatedly over the years has really brought that home.”
The two frequently “divide and conquer” to promote conservation, with Lloyd’s interests leaning toward prairie and plant conservation and Gaylan’s geared toward wildlife. The couple also works together on many projects, among them sampling water quality for the DNR’sIOWATER program.
“We pursue what interests us,” said Gaylan. “A lot of what we do is for our own enjoyment and awareness.”
“I’m just thankful to have the knowledge to be able to appreciate what I’m seeing,” added Lloyd.
That appreciation has motivated the Crims to participate in organizations like Iowa State’s Trumpeter Swan Restoration Committee, the Iowa Prairie Network and the Squaw Creek Watershed Coalition. The Crims’ three nominations for the Hagie Award came from Jon and Joyce Bahrenfus, Erv Klaas and Carl Kurtz—all of whom became close friends with the Crims through these and other conservation activities.
Despite their many conservation successes, the couple admits to frustration that too many Iowans are oblivious to their environment. “There are important conservation events that draw a great turnout of 200 people or so, when really we should need to rent a football stadium to hold them,” said Lloyd. “But the small victories are what keep you going.”
This attitude is especially evident at the Crims’ rural home north of Boone. Over the past 18 years, they’ve planted prairie and created other wildlife habitat on their eight acres, as well as choosing outdoor lighting that reduces light pollution.
“Conservation is a lifestyle, not just one or two extraordinary events,” said Gaylan. “We have a general belief that every person has a responsibility to help maintain the health of the land.”