Each year the Soil and Water Conservation District recognizes a “Cooperator of the Year”.
This year, Carol Benner, retired District Program Administrator for the Ottawa SWCD, was honored with this prestigious award at the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District’s 61st Annual Meeting and Banquet.
A crowd of 220 was present as Carol was lauded for her 34 years of service to the citizens of Ottawa County. Gerald Whipple, Soil and Water Conservation District Chairman, made the announcement with a video presentation depicting Carol’s many years of service and educational activities.
To many citizens of Ottawa County, Carol is known as the tree lady for presenting trees to all the fourth graders throughout the county each year. Thousands of Norway and Blue spruces have been planted because of Carol’s work in the classrooms.
Whipple stated, “Unlike most of the past recipients, Carol is not a farmer nor does she own much land. But you would be hard pressed to find a person with more love for nature, conservation and agriculture than her.” Carol retired on Dec. 31, 2011, and continues to give the staff at the Ottawa SWCD her advice and help when it is needed.