COLUMBUS — Two Ohioans were accorded the state’s highest conservation honor Aug. 4 during a ceremony at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Barbara Kloha Andreas, of South Bloomingville, and Guy Denny, of Fredericktown, were inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame.
Established in 1966, the Hall of Fame is Ohio’s top honor for individuals who have made significant contributions to preserving and protecting the state’s water, soil, woodlands, wildlife and mineral resources. Andreas and Denny join more than 170 others who have received this honor.
Andreas dedicated more than 40 years of her professional life to the preservation of Ohio’s natural lands. While focusing her research efforts on the distribution of mosses, Andreas also conducted plant inventories of public lands and contributed to the overall knowledge of the state’s flora and natural environment. She discovered several significant natural areas that later became state nature preserves including Flat Iron Lake Bog and Gallagher Fen. Alongside her work within Ohio’s public lands, Andreas’ research efforts were instrumental in developing the Floristic Quality Assessment Index, now used statewide and federally to assess a site’s biological quality.
She currently serves on the board of the Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Association and is a fellow of the Ohio Academy of Science. She is co-founder of the Ohio Moss and Lichen Association, was on the board of the Ohio chapter of the Nature Conservancy for 22 years and served several other notable botanical and conservation-related organizations.
Additionally, she has been a leader in conservation at many higher education institutions, including Kent State where she received multiple awards for her work.
Denny spent 56 years working with various natural resource agencies and organizations. He is a skilled interpretive naturalist, educator, author, writer and photographer. Denny’s career as a naturalist began in 1969 with Metroparks Toledo. In the decades following, he served at ODNR in multiple positions including as the department’s Chief of Natural Areas and Preserves.
After retiring from ODNR in 1999, Denny’s conservation work did not end. He went on to hold executive positions with the Ohio Biological Survey, the Ohio Environmental Council and the Trust of Public Lands in Ohio.
He is the co-founder and president of the Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Association, which has more than 1,000 members who volunteer at Ohio’s state nature preserves. During his career Denny has received numerous awards for his education and conservation work including the Environmental Educator of the Year from the Ohio Alliance for the Environment and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Environmental Council. He is co-author of “The Prairie Peninsula” and is in the process of publishing “Ohio Bogs & Fens” through KSU Press.
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