MASON CITY – The Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board (CGCCB) was pleased to accept a cash donation from the local Armour-Eckrich food processing plant in Mason City. Smithfield Foods, Inc. the parent company presented the award to the local plant in recognition of their 2011 Environmental Excellence Awards. The Mason City facility and staff member received a second-place award in “Waste Reduction-Pollution Prevention” category recognizing employee Patty Sullivan for her efforts in redesigning product packaging to reduce the amount of material required and strengthening the boxes as well.
The monetary gift of $3,000 will be utilized by the CGCCB to assist with the local 25% match for an Ia. Dept. of Natural Resources Fish Habitat Grant. The State of Iowa funding was awarded to CGCCB to construct a fishing jetty at the Blue-bill Wildlife Area, located southeast of Clear Lake (14369 Indigo Ave.). Fish Habitat Grant funds are generated by Iowans purchasing fishing licenses, with a portion annually made available to county conservation boards, via competitive regional grants. The fishing jetty is scheduled for construction during the winter of ’11-’12, with 75% of the cost covered by the state grant program.
This is not the first time that the local Armour-Eckrich plant has assisted CGCCB with projects at the Blue-bill Wildlife Area. On two previous occasions they have provided financial gifts; first in development of the boat ramp and parking lot and secondly with shoreline rip-rap placement to reduce shoreline erosion and improve lake water quality. In both of those situations the generous financial donations assisted the CGCCB with the mandatory local match for competitive grants this agency had received.
The CGCCB was organized in June of 1958 according to state statutes, which created this unique to Iowa county conservation system. The CGCCB has enjoyed tremendous success during the first 50 years of existence, much of that directly related to the on-going local public support and successful partnerships with citizens, communities, special interest groups, private conservation organizations and local business/industry.
The financial gift was presented by Armour-Eckrich Mason City plant employee Patty Sullivan, accepted by CGCCB director Fred Heinz and joined by local Plant Manager Dave Bergan.