A Cody, Wyo. employee of The Nature Conservancy has been honored for her work in creating a new event that focuses public attention on the Shoshone River, which originates along the eastern boundary of Yellowstone National Park.
Katherine Thompson, the Conservancy’s northwest Wyoming program director, is the recipient of the Deborah MacKenzie Award for Innovation, according to a statement released by the nonprofit group.
Thompson was praised for her work connecting the local community to its water resources through the first-ever Cody Wild West River Fest. As many as 1,000 people of all ages participated in recreational and educational activities along the Shoshone River.
From a fish migration obstacle course to collecting water bugs, lessons about the importance of a healthy river were a core part of activities during the inaugural event.
Thompson called the award “a great honor,” and said that “accolades also go to the community of Cody.”
“The river festival is a highly collaborative project involving numerous public and private partners, as well as Conservancy employees from several teams,” she said. “We are excited to expand the Cody River Fest in the future to increase community engagement in river recreation and conservation.”
The Conservancy also honored the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts for its Pathways to Water Quality project at the Wyoming State Fair Park.
The Deborah MacKenzie Award for Innovation, named for a founding member of the Wyoming Chapter of the Conservancy, is given to a Nature Conservancy employee or partner who has develops an innovative idea with practical follow-through that advances the chapter’s conservation efforts.
As recipients of the Deborah MacKenzie Award for Innovation, the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts will receive a 3-night stay for up to 12 people at the Conservancy’s Tensleep Preserve, as well as a framed photograph by Scott Copeland. Thompson will receive a cash award.
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