Backyard Conservationist Award

The Backyard Conservationist Award, sponsored in partnership with The Andersons, Inc.,  is designed to recognize homeowners in rural Wood County for taking steps in conserving soil and water resources right where they live. The winning home site is selected by considering backyard conservation practices such as the use rain barrels, ponds, composting, rain gardens, vegetable and flower gardens, windbreaks and prairie grasses. 

As you drive through the countryside, take note of home sites that catch your attention and submit (address included) to Wood SWCD online at or to the district office.   Nominations accepted by August 15.  The winner will be recognized at the Wood SWCD Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet.

Congratulations to Doug and Cathy Irick!

The 2016 Backyard Conservationist Award is presented to Doug and Cathy Irick of Rudolph. Cathy will quickly admit that the success of their conservation projects are due to Doug’s dedication and physical labor. “It’s all him,” she says. The Iricks have been utilizing backyard conservation practices at their home for at least 30 years. Establishing a windbreak and using the pond water were among the first steps in conservation on their 3 ½ acre property. The family vegetable garden has grown to feed 3 families. So far this year, Doug has put-up 80 quarts of spaghetti sauce and 60 quarts of whole tomatoes. Doug’s favorite thing to grow, he says, is garlic. It is the first thing to come up in the spring; even through the snow. It’s part of his tomato canning recipe, too. They also can red beets, but freeze the corn and peppers. Potatoes are stored for use throughout the year and the grapes are made into grape juice. Within the last five years, Cathy suggested getting a few bees and a couple of chickens. 22 hives later and a charming chicken coop housing a half a dozen chickens, give or take a few, are now part of his hobby. The plants and chicken manure are composted for the garden and a cover crop is planted at the end of the growing season. Several wildflower beds are throughout the yard to promote pollination and honey production. Not only is this backyard a wonderful example of utilizing conservation practices, it is also a lovely space enjoyed by family and friends. Composting the yard and garden waste, establishing windbreaks, utilizing pond water for gardening, and creating habitat for pollinators are qualities of a backyard conservationist.

Past Recipients

2012   Bradley & Ann Peter
2013   Joel & Karen Himelhan
2014 Rod & Loretta Wenig
2015 Ron & Linda Dunmyer

bernie-1 Bernie Scott Chairman

Business Hours
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

District Board Meetings
Wood SWCD Monthly Board Meetings are held the third Friday of every month at 8:00 a.m. at the District office. The public is welcome.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 21, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announ

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