Green Crew Recognized with Awards

Green Crew and it's Leadership Nationally Recognized

One of the most anticipated elements of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) National Conference is the Awards. There are awards for Chapters, individuals, programs and partners. At the 2023 National Conference in Lincoln Nebraska, the Green Crew program, it’s sponsor and leadership will all recognized for what they are doing.  

Robert C. O’Hair Award - Minnesota Valley Chapter

Recognizes outstanding chapter youth programs. (Chapter with member of <500)

The Minnesota Valley Chapter’s Green Crew program was recognized as the most outstanding chapter youth program. The youth-led, science-based, project-focused conservation service project and leadership development program was recognized for its role in putting youth into the present of the Chapter leadership. 

Outdoor America's Future Award -Camille Morton

Recognizes the IWLA youth or student member who has volunteered in many conservation projects, educational efforts, community service, or chapter leadership development and is considered a young “up and coming” future League leader.

If Camille’s only contribution to the Izaak Walton League had been being the founding President of the Green Crew, this award would have been well earned. The additional facts that she was elected and serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Valley Chapter, co-chaired a committee for the Minnesota Division, and was recently appointed Minnesota Valley Chapter’s representative to the Minnesota Division Board — well, that all simply made the choice obvious. 

Thelma "Pete" Reed Award -Joseph Barisonzi

Recognizes the member who has volunteered in many conservation projects, educational efforts, community service, or chapter leadership development, and is not serving as a national leader of the League but is considered an “up and coming” future League leader.

For the Green Crew, Joseph has been the vision, driver, pusher, supporter, mentor, coach, worker-bee, trainer, guide, recruiter, fundraiser, buffer and so much more. 

It is our understanding that he is also involved in other Committee’s of the Minnesota Valley Chapter, on the Board of Friends of Minnesota Valley, the Minnesota Division of the IWLA, and the Asst. Treasure of the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District. If that helped in having him recognized as a “future League leader” — then so be it.

We see him as a “present League leader.”

Related Awards

There were three awards given where the Green Crew program was prominently referenced: 

Hall of Fame - Ted Suss

Recognizes a member’s outstanding accomplishments in furthering the mission and goals of the League.

Ted was instrumental in the design, development, launch and support of the Green Crew as the President of the Minnesota Valley Chapter of the Izaak Walton League. 

For the past five decades, Ted has been a bridge-building conservationist and environmentalist. Under his leadership the Minnesota Valley Chapter has been revived, thrived and is now a nationally recognized leader in conservation activism. He is a past president of the Minnesota Division of the IWLA.   He has been in leadership of organizations as diverse as the Governor’s Pollinator Council and the Regional Trails Commission. 

For the Green Crew, his crowning achievement has been his vision, patience, and persistence in launching the Green Crew as the youth program of the Minnesota Valley Chapter of the IWLA. Ted is a regular attendee at Crew training, work days, and events. Go Ted! 

Membership Merit Awards - Minnesota Valley Chapter

Recognize membership growth based on chapter size.

For the chapter with 51 to 250 members with the greatest net gain.

Minnesota Valley’s 2022 membership growth was largely due to the infusion of new members associated with the Green Crew program. 

Arthur R. Thompson Memorial Award -Minnesota Division

Recognizes the state division that has carried out the most outstanding conservation program.

Among the amazing programs conducted by the Division and the Chapters, the Green Crew program and the youth grant program were recognized. 

And Additional Congratulations --

There were two additional National Award winners which the members of the Green Crew were excited to recognize and celebrate: 

Hall of Fame: Richard C. Staffon

Recognizes a member’s outstanding accomplishments in furthering the mission and goals of the League.

Conservation Awards: Tyler Winter

Recognizes member contributions to conservation in the name of the League. 

Tyler is a member of the Breckenridge Chapter. His conservation project has been about “rough fish.” Rough fish are native non-game fish. Before Tyler started his project the DNR did not have the authority to protect native fish which are so important to our environment unless they were considered a fish that folks wanted to catch (for food or enjoyment).

Tyler has built community support for basic fishery management, passed a law requiring the DNR to develop rules, and has been a leading on the committee that oversees that rule-making.

Oh by the way, he has a full-time job, actively fishes, and has time to give feedback and coaching to Green Crew members!  

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