Ron joined dozens of citizens and elected officials last Thursday (July 15th) to dedicate the renovated and expanded headquarters of the Sussex Conservation District (SCD) near Georgetown.
According to SCD District Coordinator David Baird, his agency needed a larger, more contemporary home. The original administration building was more than three decades old and some of the support buildings and workshops dated back to the 1940s and 1950s.
The project included renovating the administration building, adding a large new addition, and replacing the equipment storage and support structures. "These changes meet our needs today and [will continue to do so] as we move into the future," Mr. Baird said.
The work was completed about a year ago, but the dedication was delayed due to the state's COVID-19 restrictions on group gatherings.
The new administration complex is known as the Vanderwende-Evans Conservation Center. The previous building had borne the name of the late Cashar W. Evans -- a farmer, entrepreneur, and conservationist who was a long-time chairman of the SCD Board of Supervisors. The new facility's moniker also incorporates the name of William "Bill" Vanderwende, who led the board for 21 years and was an outspoken advocate of the conservation district's work to prudently manage the land, curtail non-point source pollution, and protect the environment. Mr. Vanderwende passed away last September.
Ron's colleague - Rep. Jesse Vanderwende - spoke about his grandfather, stating: "He really dedicated a big portion of his life to being on this board and making water management in Sussex County, and ultimately throughout the state, more efficient."
Rep. Vanderwende added that all Sussex Countians owe a debt of gratitude to the work of the Conservation District, which has made large portions of land that would be otherwise be unviable, available for residential use and agricultural production.