Environmental Stewardship Awards Now Total 100

Larimer County Logo

Support Northern Colorado Journalism

Show your support for North Forty News by helping us produce more content. It's a kind and simple gesture that will help us continue to bring more content to you.

Click to Donate

Five groups were recently recognized for their dedication to environmental stewardship in Larimer County as recipients of the 2022 Environmental Stewardship Awards by the Board of Larimer County Commissioners.

Now in its 27th year, the Board of Larimer County Commissioners presents these awards to businesses, organizations, and residents to honor their work and stewardship efforts in protecting our environment.

Ninety-five awards have been given thus far, and the five recent awards now bring the total to 100 since the start of the ESA program in 1995.

The Larimer County Environmental and Science Advisory Board reviews nominations for the awards and makes recommendations to the Board of Larimer County Commissioners to select the award winners.


Lempka Family Farm – Protecting Water Quality in the Little Thompson River by reducing nonpoint source pollution.

The Lempka Family Farm, in cooperation with Colorado State University, the Little Thompson Watershed Coalition, and the Colorado Dept. of Health and Environment is applying a water quality control measure to treat irrigation return flows from their farm.

Their “edge of river grass filter strip” reduces soil particulates, nitrogen, phosphorous, and e-coli from the farm’s return flows and treats the water before it re-enters the Little Thompson River. The project is important because it provides an example of how agricultural producers can reduce nutrient pollution, an important goal of Colorado’s Water Quality Regulation 85 (coagnutrients.colostate.edu).


Mike E. Corbin
Leadership in restoring trails following the Cameron Peak Fire

Following the 2020 Cameron Peak Fire, 120 miles of Forest Service recreation trails were affected in the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest. Under Mike Corbin’s leadership, Poudre Wilderness Volunteers [PWV] started their work in Spring, 2021 and by August most trails were again open to the public.

The work took 44 days to complete by the public, PWV, and local businesses. They removed nearly 3000 trees from the trails and improved drainage on 11 miles of trails reducing erosion. Their work ultimately cleared 60 miles of fire-impacted trails and allowed the public to get out and enjoy our mountain wilderness again.


Northern Colorado Wildlife Center
Rehabilitating and advocating for injured wildlife, and educating our community on stewardship of wildlife habitats.

Northern Colorado Wildlife Center plays a vital role in our community. Its mission is to rehabilitate injured wild reptiles and amphibians, and all types of wildlife, educate our community on environmental stewardship, plus improving local natural areas and open spaces through coordinated tree plantings and litter removal.

Before they became a rescue, they estimated that 2000 wild animals were euthanized each year because there were no other options for care and rehabilitation. Currently, almost 95% of their patients annually are released back into the wild including many turtles, snakes, lizards, and other wildlife species.


Energy Resource Center
Serving the community with home energy efficiency upgrades

Energy Resource Center [ERC] is a nonprofit organization focusing on free home energy efficiency upgrades for low-income-qualifying clients. ERC evaluates a resident’s home, conducts an energy audit, and provides a way for their customers to replace old appliances and add weatherization improvements to their homes – all at no cost.

They also provide home improvements focused on health and safety (plumbing, wiring, venting, structural). Since 2018, ERC has served an important role in our community, helping residents in underserved communities save 25% or more on their annual utility bills. This year they anticipate assisting 70 households in Larimer County.


Folsom Grazing Association
Land Stewardship in the Mountain to Plains Ecosystem

Through Conservation Grazing Practices Folsom Grazing Association [FGA] consists of 7 producer members who have collaborated with the city of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program at the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area to develop and implement a model for conservation grazing.

Since 2004, this partnership has enhanced the ecological conditions and environmental services on the unique Mountains to Plains Corridor in Northern Larimer County. The FGA implements adaptive land management with the goal of promoting rangeland health, wildlife habitat, cultural resources, recreation, and education. They provide an example of how producers can achieve their production goals while also engaging in land stewardship.