The Conservation Awards dinner was held in Culpeper on Thursday November 9, 2017. The annual event honors residents who have demonstrated leadership in the stewardship of local soil and water resources. The awards presented were Educator of the Year, Forest Stewardship, Wildlife, Bay Friendly Farm Awards in each of the District’s 5 member counties and Conservationist of the Year.
The Clean Water Farm Award Program recognizes farms in the Commonwealth that utilize practices designed to protect water quality and soil resources. Within the Chesapeake Bay watershed the program is known as the Bay-Friendly Farm Awards and as the Clean Water Farm Awards in all other areas of the Commonwealth.
The 2017 Culpeper County Bay Friendly Farm Award was given to Salubria Farm. The farm encompasses 230 acres of mostly open pasture and is located in Stevensburg, 7 miles east of the Town of Culpeper and 6 miles west of Germanna. The historic property dates back to 1742, when the plantation house was built for Reverend John Thompson, rector for the Little Fork Baptist Church from 1740 to 1772. The first known farm conservation plan was written in June 1943 by W.M. Preston of the Conservation District and J.A. Coffey, who was the County Extension Agent at the time. Over 11,300 feet of stream exclusion fencing was installed, 3 water troughs and a stream crossing. This fencing project created 7 acres of riparian buffer, as well as protecting the infamous spring at Wicked Bottom.
The 2017 Forestry Stewardship Award was given to Jeff DuBro of Culpeper County. The DuBro primary objectives are managing the forest to promote health, managing timber for income, outdoor recreation, soil and water conservation and wildlife habitat. They completed a Forest Stewardship Plan with the Virginia Department of Forestry in 2015. He has allowed the DOF to mark his timber for sale and layout the logistics of the harvesting operation to ensure water quality is not degraded during or after the harvest as part of the Pre-Harvest Plan written in 2015.This year he planted a wildflower meadow with Natural Resources Conservation Services through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Culpeper County is represented on the Culpeper Soil & Water Conservation District Board by Directors Andrew Campbell and Thomas O’Halloran and Associate Director Laura Campbell.