Applause: Church’s backpack program helps 253 kids

St. Mary Catholic Church of Marysville recently presented an $8,461.25 check to the Marysville Community Food Bank for its “Food for Thought” backpack program. The church started its Backpack Ministry in April 2013 to help provide food, toiletries and other necessities for the weekends to homeless and needy children in the community. Parishioners make regular monetary contributions, as well as donate food and toiletries. In addition, 15 volunteers from the church prepare food bags and transport them to various schools each week for the 253 children who currently receive help.

Conservation District honors farmers, othersSnohomish Conservation District hosted its annual awards reception on March 25 in Everett to honor local farmers, partners and landowners who are making significant progress in improving natural resources on their property and supporting district programs.

  • Lifetime Achievement: Duane Weston, Arlington; and Wiard Groeneveld, Monroe
  • Cooperator of the Year: Werkhoven Dairy Inc., Monroe
  • Commercial Farm of the Year: Williams Farm LLC, Stanwood
  • Small Farm of the Year: Meaty Acre Farm (Ben and Heidi Dubose), Granite Falls
  • Community Conservation: Richard McAdams, Everett
  • Sound Home: Pilar Galup, Camano Island
  • Wildlife: Babs Luedke, Monroe; and Woods Creek Nursery (Sharon Ronsse), Monroe
  • Sound Forest: Sons of Norway’s Normanna Park at Lake Riley, Arlington; and Chris Berg, Weldon Sorgen Lorain, Arlington
  • Partnership Awards: Ralph Sverjek (state Department of Ecology Northwest Region), Nichole Embertson (Whatcom Conservation District), Eric Fritch (Chinook Farms, Snohomish), Val Streeter (Tulalip Tribes Natural and Cultural Resources), Maria Foster Hicks (Foster Press, Lake Stevens), and Kevin Farrell, Derek Voelker and Washington Conservation Corps, Olympia
  • Volunteer of the Year: Bill and Lisa Pierce, Soaring Swallow Farm, Arlington
  • BIAS Pioneer: Julie Allen, District grants administrator
  • Employee of the Year: engineer Kelly Cahill

For more on Snohomish Conservation District programs and services, go to or call 425-335-5634.

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