ODNR Awards Top Conservation Honors
Greenwich’s Dean Sheldon Jr. inducted into Natural Resources Hall of Fame
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) awarded premier honors to Dean Sheldon Jr. and other leading conservationists who have made outstanding contributions to the protection and enjoyment of the state's natural resources.
ODNR Director Sean D. Logan inducted Sheldon into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame in recognition of his efforts to generate interest in the outdoors and promote resource conservation. The Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame recognizes a lifetime devoted to the preservation, protection and wise management of Ohio's natural resources.
“Dean Sheldon is an enthusiastic conservationist and instructor,” said Director Logan. “He not only taught students the value of conservation and resource management, he applied the lessons to lead by example.”
Sheldon was the first Director of the Erie County Metropolitan Park District. He aided in passing the first levy for acquisition and support of properties.
The dedicated conservationist purchased a 30-acre farm in Huron County and worked to renovate it into a wildlife conservation area. He planted thousands of trees, developed ponds and wetlands, used erosion control practices and made it certified Ohio tree farm number 370.
As an instructor, Sheldon taught at EHOVE Joint Vocational School in Milan. He instructed thousands of students about conducting timber stand improvements, pruning, tree identification, wildlife and pond management and wildlife identification.
From there, he became an instructor at Ashland-West Holmes Vocational School and educated students in chainsaw operation and maintenance, dendrology and planting trees and seedlings. Sheldon also served as Program Chairman of the Ohio Bluebird Society and still operates a bluebird trail with over 150 nest boxes.
Sheldon joins his father Dean Sheldon Sr. in the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame.
Also inducted into the Hall of Fame this year were Helen Black of Cincinnati, the late Judge Guy B. Findley of Elyria and Tim Gerber of Worthington.
The Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame was established by ODNR in 1966. To date, 145 individuals have been accorded the honor, including the legendary Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), Ohio-born explorer John Wesley Powell, botanist Lucy Braun and conservationist/novelist Louis Bromfield.
During the awards ceremony, which was held at ODNR headquarters in Columbus, Director Logan also presented Cardinal Awards to Doug Adams of Camden, D’Arcy Egan of Marblehead, Larry Rosche of Kent and Tom Stockdale of Columbus. The Cardinal Award honors 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.