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
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.
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.
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
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.