Decorah women win statewide conservation award - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Decorah women win statewide conservation award

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DECORAH (KWWL) -

Two Decorah women will receive a statewide award for their extensive conservation efforts, which include the removal of garlic mustard from area parks.

Beth Lynch and Mary Lewis will receive the 215 Lawrence and Eula Hagie Heritage award, given by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF).

The award, endowed by the family of Lawrence and Eula Hagie, is given annually by the INHF.

Lewis and Lynch will share a $1,000 prize and a hand-carved sculpture by Cedar Point Artist Dennis Schlicht.

The two women were nominated by a number of people who had experience working with them.

"Their work in conservation has gone beyond a desire for recognition. Both women truly have a passion for what they've done for the environment over the years," said Joe McGovern, INHF President.

Lynch and Lewis are current and former Luther College biology instructors, respectively, and have dedicated their time inside and outside the classroom to many causes, including the removal of garlic mustard from Decorah parks.

Garlic mustard is an invasive species first seen in Decorah parks around 2001. The plant crowds out native species and changes the soil composition of the land. This makes it more difficult for tree seedlings to grow, which many animals and insects depend on for food and shelter

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