Gregory M. Phillips, District manager/CEO of the Westmoreland Conservation District, was recently honored by the Northeast Association of Conservation District Employees with its 2013 Regional Employee Award.
Phillips was chosen from conservation district professionals in thirteen states for his “professionalism and dedication to the cause of conservation.”
Phillips has been the head of the Westmoreland Conservation District since 1984, and has created and directed a variety of programs that promote the wise use of the streams and waterways, farm fields, forests, soils, and other natural resources in Westmoreland County and the surrounding region.
Under his leadership, Westmoreland County became the first county in Pennsylvania to initiate a program to manage stormwater (1988) and the first in the state to award a project under the Landowner Reclamation Program, which allowed property owners to reclaim abandoned mine lands for the amount of forfeited bonds (1987).
He also helped to implement a number of landmark conservation projects, including the Jacobs Creek Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Project, which is one of only a few in the entire United States to address an entire watershed, and the innovative use of passive wetlands to improve water quality in MonasteryRun/Loyalhanna Creek.
He helped to create and continues to support a number of area grassroots conservation organizations, including Westmoreland Cleanways, Westmoreland County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, Smart Growth Partnership, Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, and many watershed associations.
The Northeast Association of Conservation District Employees is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development, strengthening and promotion of Conservation Districts within the northeast region of the United States. Membership is composed of all professional conservation district employees in: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, New York, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Janette (Jen) Novak recently joined the Westmoreland Conservation District as its education program coordinator and will be responsible for developing workshops, tours, field days and special events that promote conservation principles and practices.
She has worked in the environmental/conservation field for 18 years in positions with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and for 3 Rivers Wet Weather. She interned at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and volunteered for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Section of Botany.
She has a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Environmental Science from Miami University.
# # #