Zorra Township resident Mike Eckert was recognized Wednesday for his efforts toward improving the land and sustainability.
Eckert was given the Oxford Stewardship Award for 2016 by warden David Mayberry for his conservation efforts, which included retiring fields by planting seedlings, potted conifers and large hardwoods on his property.
“We planted trees every year on our property,” he said. “The first year was probably about 1,000 years, large and small.”
Eckert said that he planted the trees because he likes them so much, adding that there were areas of his property that were pretty bad.
“It was misused and neglected for a lot of years,” he said. “It wasn’t very good soil for anything else, but it’s good to plant trees on, anything that’s marginal. I just sort of fill up every part of it with trees, different native type trees that are native to the area.”
The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA), who helps Eckert plant these trees, nominated him for the award. Eckert was chosen out of three finalists whose environmental stewardship projects were supported by the Clean Water Program, which is funded by Oxford County and administered by the UTRCA.
The program promotes water quality improvement, as well as woodland and wetland conservation and enhancement.
Eckert said it was a good honour to be recognized for something he likes to do. In addition to the prize, Eckert’s name will be added to the newly constructed recognition wall in the Oxford County administration building.
In a release Wednesday, warden Mayberry said the county has a proud history of environmental stewardship.
“Our landowners continue to demonstrate a deep respect and commitment to protecting our natural environment for future generations,” Mayberry said. “I am honoured to present the eighth annual Oxford Stewardship Award in recognition of efforts to protect our land, water and air.”