James Pinsky: Bud Nagelvoort: Conservation hall of famer

Say you’re going to save the world, and you might get a smile or two. Do it? Well, that gets you into the Conservation Hall of Fame.

Just ask Bud Nagelvoort, an associate director with the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District, who will be inducted into the Southeast Region of National Association of Conservation District’s Hall of Fame during its annual meeting July 31- Aug. 2 in Cherokee, North Carolina.

“Bud has a giving heart, is a true environmental steward, and an advocate for our work across the board,” said Dr. Kendall Tyree, executive director for the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. “His unwavering commitment and selfless dedication to the conservation of our natural resources is the reason Bud is deserving of this award.”

If you’re reading this in the Virginia counties of Clarke, Frederick, Warren, Shenandoah and the City of Winchester, then all of Nagelvoort’s work certainly did help save your world. The beauty of conservation work however goes well beyond Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District’s borders, because the good Nagelvoort did locally will help us all globally sooner rather than later.

Nagelvoort’s honor and what it means for the conservation community is sending ripples through the waters of Virginia.

“The Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts has a dedicated conservationist who works diligently with members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation representing NACD’s conservation agenda,” said Don Wells, Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ legislative committee co-chair and secretary and treasurer.

Nagelvoort’s induction is to recognize and honor partnership employees, retirees and other individuals in the southeast region who have made major contributions to conservation at the state, regional and national level. Said simply, it’s because he really did help save our world.

Just to be nominated, Nagelvoort had to meet at least one of the following criteria: make at least one major contribution to conservation at the state, regional or national level; devoted a lifetime to conservation; or has retired from a partnership organization in the southeast region and or has served in a volunteer capacity. He met all three.

“The impact Bud has made at the local, state and federal level is enormous, impactful and without question,” said Tyree. “He was recommended unanimously by the VASWCD executive board for hall of fame recognition.”

Getting into the Conservation Hall of Fame isn’t a task done on a day’s work, but that of a lifetime.

“For more than 16 years, Bud has given his energy, dedication and administrative/conservation expertise to our district, whether as chairman, treasurer or leader in a full range of committees to include legislative, finance, personnel and conservation/technical,” said Richard Hoover, chairman, Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District. “Further, his work to improve the environment is far from confined to Lord Fairfax. He is a board member and treasurer of the Friends of the Shenandoah, chair of the Shenandoah State Scenic River Advisory Board and a former vice president and president of the Winchester Chapter of Trout Unlimited. As such, he has also led the fight for conservation in both Richmond and Washington, D.C.

A glimpse inside the award nomination for Nagelvoort’s selection for the 2015 Watershed Connections Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District director in each of Virginia’s major river basins for encouraging districts to work on a watershed basis, served as a prelude to justification for his Conservation Hall of Fame award. Within that award nomination, Nagelvoort’s colleagues touted the fact that he led Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual lobbying efforts in Richmond in support of cost-share and technical assistance funding for districts, and lobbied in Washington for farm bill language in support of funding for conservation practices.

Outside of his work with the conservation district, he was equally impactful with his deeds. With the Friends of the Shenandoah River Inc., just one of his accomplishments was that he secured six Shenandoah River watershed water quality monitors. With Trout Unlimited, he led several major projects, including the stream bank protection and restoration for a mile of Chapel Run in Clarke County from 1996-2014, and the current stream protection and restoration project at Redbud Run, and the donation of 31 acres of flood plain at Redbud Run.

With all of Nagelvoort’s success, his life-long achievement of being selected into the Southeast Region of National Association of Conservation District’s Hall of Fame certainly doesn’t mean the end to his conservation work.

“We continue to be blessed by his presence,” said Hoover.

James Pinsky is the education and information coordinator for the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District. Contact him at 540.465.2424, ext. 104, or james.pinsky@lfswcd.org.

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