(8-2-22) The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently presented the Cardinal Award to four Ohioans. The Cardinal Award, created in 1971, honors individuals and organizations that demonstrate exceptional awareness and concern for ideas reflected in the department’s mission statement: To ensure a balance tween the wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Cardinal Award recipients have included outdoor writers, educators, farmers, biologists, naturalists, businesses, sporting organization, and volunteers across the state of Ohio.

Theresa Dirksen
Theresa Dirksen has made great efforts and strides to improve the water quality in Grand Lake St. Marys, an area that has long struggled with those issues. As Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Mercer County, Dirksen led campaigns advocating for the creation, development, and funding of treatment trains and Stream Restoration Projects. A strong partner and advocate of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio clean-water initiative, Dirksen has also promoted best practices for watershed management, erosion control, soil testing, habitat improvement, and general education efforts geared towards the public. Dirksen is a resident of Celina, Ohio.