Two women
Kelly Stagen, left, president of the Hemlock Farms Conservancy, and Michele Long, retired district manager for the Pike County Conservation District and the recipient of the HFC's president's award. PHOTO BY MEG MCGUIRE

Hemlock Farms Conservancy honors former Pike County Conservation District manager

| August 29, 2023

Hemlock Farms Conservancy gave its President’s Award for 2023 to Michele Long, the recently retired district manager of the Pike County Conservation District in Pennsylvania.

“Efforts on a local level (like the Hemlock Farms Conservancy) make the biggest difference,” Long said at the conservancy’s dinner on Sunday. “And what you do in Hemlock Farms has an impact beyond the boundaries of your watershed.”

Each county in Pennsylvania has its own conservation district, which is responsible for the long-term protection of the county’s natural resources and focused especially on sustainable use of land and water.

(And while I have your attention, have a look at this page on the district’s website. It’s a great explainer about watersheds and how we’re almost always in more than one.)

Long was named executive director in 2018 after having been employed by the district for 14 years.

She had represented the district locally and statewide in various capacities and worked closely with her predecessors, reviewing legislation and policy, developing conservation education and outreach programs, and administering the financial and day-to-day elements of the district’s operations.

Long was also a fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program, Delaware River Watershed Network.

Introducing a special guest

Kelly Stagen, president of the conservancy, explained that it hosts educational events, works on habitat restoration projects, does guided outdoor programs, like walks in the area, as well as sponsor scholarships for local residents.

When Stagen introduced a special guest, she admitted that it was “a tough sell.”

Because when someone calls and announces that they are part of the Miss Pennsylvania program and wants the current Miss Pennsylvania to come and speak about sustainability at your dinner, “I thought it was a scam,” Stagen said.

It wasn’t.

Miranda Moore, Miss Pennsylvania 2023, speaking at the Hemlock Farms Conservancy dinner at the Pavilion at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn. PHOTO BY MEG MCGUIRE

“Please join us in welcoming Miranda Moore, an environmental engineer, sustainability professional and Miss Pennsylvania 2023,” Stagen announced to significant applause.

In addition to representing Pennsylvania at the 2024 Miss America competition, Moore, from Harrisburg, has created a website: Take Action in Fashion

Her goal is to change how we buy, wear and think about fashion. 

She said that she hadn’t realized that the fashion industry wastes a lot of resources and once she did, it became important to help more people see the problem and understand the need to be less concerned about what’s new, and try to use the clothes we have.

Dinner party

Hemlock Farms Conservancy held its awards dinner at the Pavilion at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg, Pa. PHOTO BY MEG MCGUIRE

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire has been a journalist for 30 years in New York and Connecticut. She started in weekly newspapers and moved to full-time work in dailies 25 years ago. She knows about the tectonic changes in journalism firsthand, having been part of what was euphemistically called a "reduction in force" six years ago. Now she's working to find new ways to "do" the news as an independent online publisher of news about the Delaware River, its watershed and its people.

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