New Castle News

February 6, 2014

Two environmentalists honored

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The Lawrence County Conservation District has recognized two county residents for outstanding conservation activities.

Dom Viccari was awarded the distinguished service award and Joel Beeghly of Shiloh Farms was presented with the conservation farm award.

Both were recognized at the district’s annual awards luncheon last month.

Viccari was honored for his efforts to protect communities’ natural resources and to educate adults and children about the importance of the environment.

While working as Ellwood City’s borough manager, he was involved in environmental projects that ranged from replanting trees in the borough park to educating students at Earth Day.

Most recently, in partnership with the conservation district, Viccari initiated a project to reduce nonpoint source pollution that enters the Connoquenessing Creek through stormwater runoff. Viccari helped plant 1,030 native plants in the rain garden located in Ewing Park.

In addition, he helped spread the word about the rain barrel program, recruiting Ellwood City residents to sign up for 50-gallon spring saver rain barrels. He also assisted in designing four awareness signs that remind residents their nearest waterway is the Connoquenessing Creek.

In his retirement, he has volunteered with the conservation district in countywide projects such as its monofilament recycling program. Viccari will be checking the monofilament bins at Bevington Boat Access and Rock Point Boat Club throughout the fishing season.

He also plans to participate in the district’s upcoming children’s summer nature camp.

Beeghly, owner and operator of Shiloh Farms, a North Beaver Township beef ranch, was recognized for protecting and preserving his pasture resources.

He has been working to implement his rotational grazing plan through an environmental quality incentive.

Beeghly has installed 6,500 feet of stream bank fencing to control animal access to Sugar Creek, a tributary to one of the few high quality streams in Lawrence County.

He also has constructed two stabilized stream crossings to provide the cattle stable access to pastures on both sides of the stream.

In addition, Beeghly has developed a spring that feeds multiple troughs that have been installed on stabilized limestone and geotextile pads.

Beeghly is currently working to mechanically control invasive species such as multiflora rose on nine acres.

He started working with the conservation district in 2012 by attending a manure management workshop sponsored by the conservation district.

He also partnered with the district in its agricultural best management practice grant, through which he plans to install a storage facility to properly store manure from his operation during winter until it can be properly spread in the spring.

Beeghly is a member of the Friends of the Mahoning River, the Shenango River Watchers and the Trumbull Canoe Trails Club and participated in Lawrence County’s public meeting for the Mahoning River Conservation Plan.