2021 Community Awards
Click on the above links to view the awardee recognition videos.
Sarah Moorehead, Executive Director, received the 2020 President’s Service Award!
We are excited to share that our Executive Director, Sarah Moorehead, was honored at the 2020 virtual Washington Association of Conservation District’s (WACD) Annual Meeting with the 2020 President’s Service Award. The award was presented by WACD president Jeanette Dorner with the following inscription:
“A pillar of strength for Thurston Conservation District, Sarah’s courage and grace the last few years demonstrates her determination. She now leads her district in a new chapter of helping communities in managing natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.” Sarah’s dedication and leadership at the Thurston Conservation District has paved the way for incredible growth in inspiring conservation and managing natural resources in our community. Congratulations, Sarah!
The Thurston Conservation District was awarded with the 2020 Southwest Area Conservation District of the Year Award, presented by the Washington State Conservation Commission.
“The District has built an excellent staff and an accomplished board that is well-respected by the
community. Having secured rates and charges funding, Thurston CD has developed a wide
range of programs and services to meet the needs of the vibrant and diverse communities and
landscapes they serve. Their programming ranges from traditional farm planning and cost share,
technical service provision under the Voluntary Stewardship Program, and habitat restoration of
multiple types, to green storm water infrastructure, conservation education, and technical
assistance. Their online technical assistance has become wildly popular, and they are taking on
climate adaptation and working land preservation. As the pandemic disrupted traditional
markets and food systems, they worked with producers to connect them with consumers in new
ways. They developed and shared rigorous safety protocols so that they could continue to offer
their poultry processor safely. They work with and support their fellow districts, build and
strengthen partnerships, and prove themselves to cooperators and constituents every day.”
Sarah Moorehead, Interim Executive Director, 2018 WADE Employee of the Year!
We are so pleased and excited to share that Sarah Moorehead, Interim Executive Director and Agricultural Outreach Specialist, was awarded the 2018 Washington Association of District Employees Employee of the Year award at the 2018 WADE Conference. Our staff nominated Sarah for this award because of her unending support as a supervisor and her dedication to local conservation efforts in Thurston County. Sarah joined Thurston CD as an intern in 2007 and since then has worked in a number of roles, taking on the position of Interim Executive Director in July 2017. We’re thrilled that the WADE Board agreed with us that Sarah deserves some recognition and accolades for her hard work. Congratulations, Sarah!
Kathleen Whalen, District Administrator, received the 2014 Special Services Award!
We would like to congratulate our District Administrator, Kathleen Whalen, for receiving the Washington Association of Conservation District’s 2014 Special Service Award, at the WACD Annual Meeting, held in early December. David Vogel, Executive Director, and Alan Stomberger, President of WACD, presented the award and acknowledged Kathy’s service by stating, “In addition to serving as District [Administrator] for the Thurston Conservation District, Kathy has served four years as President of WADE [Washington Association of District Employees]. She had dedicated endless hours beyond her local district’s workload to advance the ideals of partnerships, and professional education of conservation district employees – and [district board members]. Kathy has represented the interests of technical, professional and administrative district employees and has tirelessly promoted the advance of conservation by all of Washington State’s districts.” Congratulations Kathy! And, we commend you for your efforts to further the mission of our own district, while supporting employees of conservation districts across Washington State.
Brian Thompson, Resource Specialist, received the 2012 Southwest Region Employee of the Year!
Brian has been with TCD since February 2000, and is retiring this fall. He has been a well respected member of the TCD team, and his role as Resource Specialist does not fully capture all that he does. He manages the District’s Equipment Rental and Soil Testing programs. These two programs have successfully increased the visibility of the District within the community, and helped countless cooperators put conservation on the ground. As a Certified Crop Advisor, Certified Planner and licensed pesticide consultant, his exceptional skills give him the ability to work with any type of cooperator or co-worker. without conflict. These skills, along with his background in farming and forestry make him a valuable resource to our cooperators, and as such, he is regarded as the “go to” person for answers.
Fred Colvin, Board Member, received the 2011 Southwest Region Supervisor of the Year!
Fred has served on the District board since 1997. He quickly learned the ropes and within just a couple years, he became well known across the state and a strong advocate of farmland preservation. He is a great resource to the ag community and policymakers along, and is well respected. Fred served as the WADE president from Dec 05-Nov 07. The single most important accomplishment Fred made during his presidency was to implement the Budget Request strategy into one activity administered by WACD.Over the last few years, the “promises made, promises kept” slogan has been well received and, in part, is a legacy of Fred’s vision. Fred has served on several committees related to agriculture. Most notably, he has served on the Thurston County Ag Committee for over 20 years. Fred continues to be a very active voice for agriculture today. Fred is an outstanding example of someone who does not just walk the walk – he talks the talk!
Anne Mills, South Sound GREEN Coordinator, received the 2011 Southwest Region Employee of the Year!
Anne has been with TCD since September 2002 and coordinated with the South Sound GREEN student education program and plans to retire in May, 2012. Anne is very passionate about her work, which is clearly demonstrated in her commitment and dedication the program. She has continually demonstrated her ability to be flexible, creative and patient – all essential skills that have help shape the program to what it is today. Her leaderships skills have brought increased visibility to the District within the Thurston County community, and beyond.
James Weatherford, Resource Specialist, received the 2008 Southwest Region Employee of the Year!
He was recognized for his hard work at the District. Some of the highlights include: educating Thurston County’s Developmental Services staff on the importance of TCD’s participation in reviewing applications regarding agricultural land use conversions, so that TCD can directly influence the outcome of projects and proactively preventing water quality problems before they can occur, and for co-chairing a statewide group in bringing affected parties together to developed a standardized conservation plan format.
The Thurston Conservation District received the 2007 Natural Resource Conservation Service Partnership Award!
This award was presented to TCD at the Washington Association of Conservation Districts’ Annual Meeting on November 28, 2007. NRCS recognized us for our cooperative efforts in getting conservation on the ground and assisting them with diminishing their huge backlog of projects.
The District received the 2006 SW Region District of the Year Award for the 2nd year in a row!
“TCD demonstrates leadership in all aspects of District operations, resulting in excellent service to its constituents. In addition, its board members take an active role in the conservation community, serving on state and local committees such as the statewide livestock committee, Thurston County Shellfish Protection group, and WACD [Washington Association of Conservation Districts], where the District plays a major leadership role. The District has also done an excellent job of building partnerships. This past year, TCD developed a new partnership with the Squaxin Island Tribe to create a curriculum for students to learn about the history and ecology of the area’s natural resources [shellfish]. Last, but not least, the District continues to be a leader in exploring new directions for urban outreach.”
Kathleen Whalen, Administrator for Thurston CD received the 2006 SW Region Manager of the Year award!
“[Kathleen] has provided outstanding service and stability to the Thurston Conservation District, and in particular has boosted morale through [her] fine leadership. [She] has been extremely responsive to Commission requests and provided an excellent presentation to state agency leaders, informing them of the mission and work of Washington’s conservation districts. Since [her] beginning days in the early 1990s, as an intern, [she] has presented a positive image for the District and worked extremely well with all its constituents.”
Mike Kuttel, Jr., Habitat Specialist for Thurston CD received the 2006 SW Region Employee of the Year award!
“[Mike] has provided outstanding service to the Thurston Conservation District, having been the Habitat Specialist since 2003 and sharing the responsibility as Acting Administrator when the Administrator is away from the office. [He] works tirelessly to ensure that [he] can come up with the best outcome possible by bringing in other partners and identifying ways to put projects on the ground, in the most effective and efficient way possible, while looking out for the District’s financial resources. In addition, [he] is a participant in the Watershed Data Pilot Project and is the District’s IT person; during TCD’s recently move, [he] coordinated the relocation of all the computer workstations, printers and servers and was successful in getting staff back on line within a short period of time.”
The Thurston Conservation District was awarded with the 2005 SW District of the Year Award, presented by the Washington State Conservation Commission.
“The District has excellent staff, folks who are quietly competent and simply go about the business of helping people be better stewards of their land. They love their work, are good problem solvers, and genuinely enjoy helping people. They have survived several changes in district leadership, demonstrating great fortitude during tough times. Despite many challenges, District staff never lost sight of their missions to help people be better stewards. The staff and board work together well and have mutual respect; people genuinely like one another. The Thurston Conservation District has an effective district administrator who knows the district extremely well. Kathy [Whalen] started as an intern and came up through the ranks, learning and leading as she came along, and is now doing an excellent job as administrator. Effective district management is a key component in the District’s success. Thurston Conservation District board members are dedicated individuals. They rarely miss a meeting and all have headed up one or more of the District operating committees, as well as being on various local committees. Board members are active and contribute locally, regionally, statewide and nationally.”
Doug Rushton, Board Chair, received the 2005 SW District Supervisor of the Year Award!
“Doug has been a district supervisor since 1994 and for the past 4 1/2 years he has served as TCD’s board chair. He is truly dedicated to the success of TCD in providing the resource management information and services needed by the people of Thurston County. Doug continually holds the needs of the local resources and the resource management industries in front of the district in making decisions on how to use District resources. As chair, he is very conscientious of his responsibility of keeping both the board and staff informed. Further, he is thoughtful about issues and is motivated to keep TCD moving in the right direction. He has been instrumental in helping to develop more positive and constructive relationships with other local and agency partners. This includes working closely with the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners in evaluating use of the TCD assessment dollars and directing annual use of certain assessment dollars in coordination with the Commissioners’ interests. Doug is willing to approach difficult situations and works diligently to help formulate a positive outcome…” “Doug has even been known to shovel compost into a bag at the District Plant Sale to demonstrate that supervisors don’t just sit at a table and discuss business once a month, but rather they are willing to ‘get their hands dirty.’ “