Mark Meinzer Richland Soil Volunteer of the year

Mark Meinzer was named the Richland SWCD 2019 Volunteer of the Year.

MANSFIELD -- Conservation was celebrated in Richland County at the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (Richland SWCD) annual celebration on Thursday, Nov. 7.

The evening included a buffet dinner catered by The Vault and the public election to elect one board supervisor. Fred Cooke was re-elected to a three-year term Jan. 1, 2020, and will join other current Board Supervisors Brian Alt, Aaron Dearth, Lanny Hopkins and David Krichbaum.

Win Meek at Richland Soil

Win Meek was recognized as the Richland SWCD Conservationist of the Year.

Erica Thomas, District Program Administrator, shared the past year’s accomplishments. Richland SWCD is seeking two paid college interns to begin in January 2020. The application deadline is Nov. 22. Richland SWCD created a short survey to help identify potential areas in Richland County’s watersheds that residents feel need protected or improved water quality. Please take the survey by November 15 by going to the following link:

Win Meek was recognized as the Richland SWCD Conservationist of the Year. Win’s dedication has ensured Richland County’s natural resources are protected and preserved. He volunteers with many organizations on multiple conservation projects.

Some local organizations he donates time and resources to are the Mansfield Rotary Club, Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Richland SWCD, Ohio Bird Sanctuary and Mansfield in Bloom. His land has been designated a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, Certified Tree Farm from the American Tree Farm System and Plant for Pollinator Garden by the Cincinnati Zoo. He and his wife, Jayne, are also past recipients of the Mansfield Men’s Garden Club residential beautification award.

Mark Meinzer was named the Richland SWCD 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Mark has volunteered with Richland SWCD since 2015. He is a Precipitation and Stream Monitor Volunteer and helps with special events like the Richland County Fair. Mark is active in his church, St. Peter’s, and has been a member of the Johnny Appleseed Square Dance Club for 13 years. A Redbud tree will be planted in his honor at Gorman Nature Center on November 15 at 11:30 a.m. The public is welcome.

The 70-member volunteer team was also recognized. Together this year, they have contributed more than 2,483 hours, which has saved the General Fund approximately $37,245.00. Volunteers contribute high quality data that is used to track soil and water health in Richland County’s 8 watersheds and may be viewed on the Water Data Map of the Richland SWCD website at

Guest speaker, Guy Denny, Retired, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, provided an interesting and informative program on Tallgrass Prairies of Ohio.

Richland SWCD thanked the evening’s donors which included Alta Florist & Greenhouse, DRM Productions, Inc., Farm Credit Mid-America, Shady Lane Alpaca Farm, The Vault Wine Bar, Richard and Janet Shellhouse and Rob Workman and Amy Crutchfield.

Call 419-747-8686 or go to to learn about programs and services provided by Richland SWCD.

The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District Board meets at 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month in Suite 205B of the Richland County Longview Center, 1495 W. Longview Avenue, Mansfield. The public is welcome.

The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District develops, implements and assists landowners, government agencies and our partners with a wide range of natural resource conservation programs.

Programs and assistance of the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District are available without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability or veteran status.

Support Our Journalism

Our content is free and always will be - but we rely on your support to sustain it.