Chesterton Tribune



Charlotte and Herb Read honored by national Izaak Walton League

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The Porter County Chapter (PCC) of the Izaak Walton League was well represented at the League’s Awards Luncheon at their annual Convention in Pierre, South Dakota recently.

Frequently honored Chesterton residents Charlotte and Herb Read were again honored with the 54 Founders Award, the League’s highest honor, for their lifetimes of work on behalf of the Indiana Dunes and the Izaak Walton League.

“Herb and Charlotte have each put more than 50 years into the work of the League. Their commitment is legendary and they are certainly deserving of this recognition.” said Chapter president Jim Sweeney. Sweeney added that the Read’s are still vital and active in the chapter’s work.

The IWLA was founded in Chicago in 1922 by 54 anglers and outdoorsmen who were upset about the continued degradation of the lakes and rivers they loved.

Two chapter projects were recognized with plaques and cash awards. The James Lawton Childs Award goes to the most outstanding chapter conservation project of the previous year. The Porter County chapter nominated its Frame Family Conservation Area project for this recognition. The chapter was awarded $370,000 in grants to buy and restore 60 acres of land from the Frame family adjacent to the new IDNR Reynolds Creek Game Bird Habitat and the East Branch of the Little Calumet River.

A” Partners for Fish and Wildlife” grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service was received to start the prairie restoration last fall and the chapter planted over 700 trees and shrubs this spring.

The chapter’s Family Nature Nights program was awarded the Robert C. O’Hair Award for the most outstanding chapter youth program of the last year. Since 2013, the chapter takes its Nature Nights program to each of the elementary schools in Chesterton every spring, with presentations and hands-on activities from up to 20 different presenters.

In addition to IWLA activities, other presenters have included Porter County Parks, Dunes State Park and National Lakeshore, the Master Gardeners, NIPSCO, County Solid Waste District, and more. The program is built around the League slogan of “Defenders of soil, air, woods, water, and wildlife,” and is expanding to include some Valparaiso schools in the fall.

Two Porter County Chapter members were recognized for their individual accomplishments. Youth Member, Dakota Halper, age 15, received the America’s Outdoor Future Award, which recognizes a young person who has volunteered many hours on League conservation projects, educational efforts, and community service, for her work with several IWLA chapters, Scouting groups, and community organizations.

New PCC member Tom Larson won a national Conservation Award in recognition of his many years as an advocate for the Kankakee River. A lifelong hunter, trapper, and angler, Sweeney said “Tom knows that river better than anyone in Indiana. He loves it.” Larson has been on the Kankakee River Basin Commission for over 20 years and has mentored many people on the responsible use of the resources of the River.



Posted 7/30/2015




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