We are excited to share the news that our very own Chris Anderson, our Page and Warren County Coordinator, was named Conservationist of the Year by the Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District (District).
District Manager Megen Dalton presented the inaugural Conservationist of the Year award to Chris at our last board meeting, recognizing Chris’ “passion and commitment to promote, protect and preserve our precious natural resources.”
We think Chris is an obvious pick for this honor. In addition to her persistence in her professional role here at the Alliance to ensure land use and transportation planning that is compatible with the high quality of life, working landscapes, and natural resources in Warren and Page counties, her experience in and passion for conservation elevates our work, and we all benefit from her love of nature, photography and art.
Chris has and continues to further conservation in the Shenandoah Valley through many other professional and volunteer roles.
In her 9 years as Page County’s Environmental Coordinator she facilitated gypsy moth control activities, helped to plan and implement water quality improvements in Mill Creek and Hawksbill Creek, and strengthened the Water Resources and Water Quality and Quantity sections of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.
Following her time with Page County, Chris served as the Executive Director of the White House Farm Foundation, where among her many contributions, she further documented the history of the Shenandoah River farm and hosted tours with local school groups and others, sharing her knowledge of agriculture and best management practices. She also coordinated benthic studies at the Farm and hosted the Virginia Outdoors Festival and countless other workshops on topics such as tree identification, riparian buffer exploration and photography.
Chris’ conservation activities and efforts are truly expansive. She has served for many years as a volunteer for the nonprofit Page County Tree Board and for the regional nonprofit Sustainability Matters. Chris is a Virginia Master Naturalist and a North Carolina Master Gardener. She is also a Graduate of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute (VNRLI). She serves on the Pure Water Forum Board, the Shenandoah National Park Association Board, and the Blue Ridge Committee for the Shenandoah National Park Relations. She has held positions with the Virginia Association of Forest Health Professionals and the Shenandoah Valley Northern Regional Commission, among others.
Chris is also an expert at planting trees and has planted thousands of seedlings in support of state and federal conservation programs. Her plantings are well known to have a very high success and survivability rate and many unknowingly enjoy the fruits of her labor as they travel the Valley.
Chris is known for building strong partnerships and also for her amazing photography. In addition, she is an artist, having produced many beautiful original images of historical architecture and nature-related pieces. She works in pen and ink and watercolor and has produced prints of street scenes of Luray as well as a series of native butterfly, bird and tree notecards and prints.
If you see Chris out and about, please congratulate her. Our board member Rod Graves said it best:
“I was delighted, but not surprised, at the announcement that Chris was honored as the District’s Conservationist of the Year. I’ve admired Chris’ work for years, and I am thankful to have her in our community, both as our on-the-ground staff in Page and Warren counties, but also because she has shared so much of her passion and knowledge of conservation and love of our natural resources with our community.”