Well, we hoped that the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation would win for the organization of the year (and we were nominated), but there was that little project about reintroducing Rocky Mountain Elk thing going on in Tennessee this year, and they won! But, our leader, Barry Thacker, PE was named Water Conservationist of the Year 2000 by the Tennessee Conservation League (TCL). There is always next year, and with the help of all our volunteers and partners (who are the best!), anything is possible!
Barry Thacker, PE (right) receives award from Greer Tidwell, President of the Tennessee Conservation League
Here are some of the nice things Master of Ceremonies--Mr. Edward Thackson said about Barry and the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation at the TCL Conservation Achievement Awards Program banquet on April 20, 2001:
In a year of many excellent award candidates and hard choices, this one was easy. Our winner was nominated by three separate people, including two former TCL presidents.
He is the inspiration and chief organizer for the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation, a grass roots organization that has brought together local residents and officials and government agencies to improve the quality of life in the Coal Creek Watershed.
Originally conceived to try to improve water quality in 30 miles of Coal Creek to enable trout from the Clinch River below Norris Dam to spawn, it quickly expanded to include education and cooperation of many residents and organizations to mitigate the effects of past surface mining. Once organized, the group's concerns expanded quickly to include quality of life issues such as better schools, dental and health care, job opportunities, and safety from flooding.
So far they have:
Not bad for a year's work. So, you can see why it was an easy decision to award this human dynamo who is the mover and shaker behind this amazing effort the 2000 Water Conservationist of the Year. And, I guess I like him because he is an engineer.
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Creek Watershed Foundation, Inc. 2000 through 2020
CELEBRATING OUR 20th YEAR!!