This year’s 2018 Good Steward Award (aka “Finnie”) Winners are Barbara Fulton and Heather Arps from Lopez, Jerry McElyea from San Juan, and Jean Walkinshaw from Orcas. Each island presented the “Finnie” award to local awardees during their National Public Lands Day and Great Islands Fall Clean-Up Events.
Winner Barbara Fulton was recognized for her many volunteer activities, including the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts, the Chamber of Commerce, a monitor with the BLM, and as a San Juan County Parks Commissioner. Beth Shirk, who nominated her, described Barbara as a “community member who is devoted to and lives the ideals of the Finnie Award every single day. From picking up litter to advising on county policy, Barb quietly and without fanfare leads by example to protect and preserve our public lands.”
Winner Heather Arps had several nominators, all of whom portrayed her tireless (and successful!) commitment to preserving Odlin South. As one described it, “Heather's commitment to this project has been a true inspiration to many local residents of Lopez Island and her steadfast consistency has motivated individuals and agencies to join the effort. Her strong and positive leadership and enduring years of patience while building support for the campaign to save Odlin South has been a model for others working towards conservation of special places.”
Winner Jerry McElyea was nominated by Shona Aitken of Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, recognizing him for his many years of volunteer work not only at Wolf Hollow but also with IOSA and the Whale Museum’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Winner Jean Walkinshaw was nominated by Dean Dougherty of the San Juan Preservation Trust for her generous contributions to land conservation through easements on the south slope of Mt. Ben on Orcas and White Point that protects over 1,100 feet of shoreline.
The Stewardship Network is a coalition of private and public organizations whose vision is a healthy, thriving ecosystem in the San Juan Archipelago from land to sea. Since 2008, the Stewardship Network has honored special individuals, families, teachers, students, and businesses who have demonstrated through their actions a long-term commitment to preserving the land and sea of the San Juan Islands archipelago in their daily lives. Many nominations for the Good Stewards awards were received, making the choices for these awards pleasantly difficult. The awards are traditionally presented as part of the Great Islands Cleanup events, the biannual effort to eliminate trash from roadsides, beaches, and trails.
Want to keep up-to-date with the Stewardship Network? Check out our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/stewardshipsji/