COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has awarded its highest conservation honor to two individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the protection and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources.
Inductees. Inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame were Congressman Ralph Regula of Navarre and the late John Davey of Kent.
The department also presented its annual Cardinal awards for conservation achievement to Shyamala Chitaley of Cleveland, David Culver of Columbus, and Phoenix Technologies, LLC, of Bowling Green.
ODNR Director Sam Speck presented the awards during a ceremony at Quail Hollow State Park in Stark County.
The Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame was established by ODNR in 1966. To date, 135 individuals have been accorded the honor, which recognizes a lifetime devoted to the preservation, protection and wise management of Ohio’s natural resources.
Previous Hall of Fame honorees include the legendary Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), Ohio-born explorer John Wesley Powell, botanist Lucy Braun and conservationist/novelist Louis Bromfield.
Regula’s record. Regula has played a vital role in the creation of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park – the first major national urban park in the Midwest. During his tenure as chair of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, he wrote and successfully passed legislation establishing the 101-mile Ohio & Erie Canal Heritage Corridor in northeastern Ohio.
He has supported research efforts in clean-coal technology and worked to address concerns within our national park system.
Davey. Drawing on his passion for tree care and environmental stewardship, Davey established the Davey Tree Expert Company in Portage County in 1880.
He was a pioneer in the field of tree care and published The Tree Doctor in 1901, establishing many of the standards used in the industry today. Today, the Davey Tree Expert Company operates out of Kent and employs nearly 6,000 Ohioans.
Cardinal awards. The ODNR Cardinal awards honor individuals and organizations demonstrating exceptional awareness and concern for ideals reflected in the department’s mission statement: to ensure a balance between the wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.
Since the mid-1970s, Shyamala Chitaley, has worked tirelessly to identify Ohio’s prehistoric plant life from the Devonian Age. As curator of paleobotany for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, her efforts have also helped experts in the field to make more accurate geologic maps of the state.
As a leader in freshwater aquaculture, David Culver, has played a critical role in improving the way Ohio raises saugeye and walleye fingerlings at its state fish hatcheries.
Phoenix Technologies International, LLC, is a world leader in recycling technology, including a new process that increases production capacity of food-grade PET plastic.
The Bowling Green company is credited with many of the advances seen in the bottle-to-bottle recycling process.
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