2012-02-07 / Front Page

Owen SWCD District Coordinator Gwen Dieter Retires After 22 Years Of Service

SWCD Report

Gwen Dieter Gwen Dieter The Owen County Soil and Water Conservation District is 65 years old. The last 22 have been brought to you in large part by Gwen Dieter. Gwen has retired as of January 1st, 2012 and will be missed by the district. While the members of the district’s boards have always worked to provide meaningful, productive direction it is Gwen who has taken the plan and made it a reality.

It easy to underestimate the impact of one individual county’s actions, but local-level conservation combined across an entire state or nation can make a huge impact. Gwen was an integral part of this collective effort during her time at the Owen SWCD. She acted to educate the youth of Owen County about environmental issues. Anyone who went to Owen Valley Middle School in the recent decades probably remembers the Nature Bowl she helped to put on for seventh graders. Also, those who had Mrs. Tucker’s science class might have had the opportunity to take part in stream testing. This is not to mention the countless individual programs that Gwen taught for both young children and adults.

Gwen, while working at the SWCD, made great effort to apply for grants that created additional in-county economic activity and provided for increased conservation measures. These grants included cost share of implementation of environmentally friendly agricultural practices, money for flood relief, and money to perform in-depth environmental studies along with subsequent planning. One such grant that has had a lasting impact provided funding for the Community Farmers’ Market of Owen County. In addition to securing the funding, Gwen worked hard to use the funds effectively for the market creation. These grants can and have made major impacts as they allow for actions that are not able to be financed locally, but are economically and environmentally worthwhile to be taken.

This is, of course, not all that Gwen has done – not even close. One of the biggest contributions one can attribute to Gwen is her attitude toward and concern for Owen County’s natural resources. This attitude set a positive example for all in the county to see and emulate so that our county can move toward an evermore sustainable and successful future.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2012-02-07 digital edition