St. Andrew's Recognized with Governor’s 2012 Agricultural and Urban Conservation Award
Posted April 19, 2012
The Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village was the setting for yesterday’s Stewardship Week proclamation and presentation of the Governor’s Agricultural and Urban Conservation Awards. On behalf of Governor Jack Markell, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin P. O’Mara led a ceremony with Delaware Association of Conservation Districts President Wendy O. Baker recognizing the honorees. Ms. Baker also read a proclamation previously signed by the Governor officially designating April 29 through May 6 as Stewardship Week in Delaware.
St. Andrew’s was recognized for its conservation efforts on the school’s 2,200-acre property. Projects over the past 60 years have included: the dredging of Noxontown Pond in 1984; the implementation of grassed waterways, diversions, and grade control structures to manage water and control erosion; the planting of erosion-blocking filter strips, grasses, and trees on critical areas of the property; the use of conservation tillage and crop rotations; the planting of winter cover crops such as wheat and barley; and the conversion of cropland to hayfields and forestland to help improve water quality and soil conditions by controlling erosion.
In 2005, a 107-acre reforestation project was completed and more recently a riparian buffer adjacent to existing forest lands around Noxontown Pond was planted. The school has also installed a rain garden, controlled invasive species, planted native species and converted lawn into native wildflower meadows. The school has accomplished this while working with local, state and federal partners to enhance and conserve agricultural lands, increase wildlife habitat and have a sustainable campus landscape.
Michael Schuller, Director of Institutional Planning and Strategic Initiatives, was on hand to accept the award alongside Gary Simendinger and Bill Alfree who farm the school property.
Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee congratulated the honorees. "Today’s recipients are excellent examples of how Delaware's farmers and landowners work to protect our land and water for future generations," said Secretary Kee. “These good stewards are committed to keeping Delaware strong and healthy.”