By Dixie Terry
Friends of the Cache River Watershed with the 2018 Cache Champion Award have recognized Virginia Street of Simpson. The newly created award was presented on August 30, at the Cache Annual Meeting, held at the Carbondale Civic Center.
Presenting the award was Dr. Michael Jeffords, Friends Chair, who said, “The intent of the award is to honor the efforts of those often unsung heroes who love the Cache River Wetlands and put their passion into action as volunteers and advocates.”
Street began her involvement in 2006 as a member of the Cache Corps of Discovery, a group with the objective to record present and future changes in the wetlands, through photography, descriptive writing and illustration.
She went on to become an active volunteer at the Cache River Wetlands Center in Cypress, where she has logged almost 900 hours, greeting visitors, preparing and organizing educational supplies, and doing whatever else is needed, right down to cleaning and filling the hummingbird feeders.
Street regularly helps with events such as Nature Fest, the Fall Monarch Tagging Program, the Spring Toad and Frog Survey, and the Cache Annual Meeting, and also shares responsibility for creating and maintaining one of the ten garden plots on the Pollinator Interpretive Trail.
A retired microbiologist, Street is a proud graduate of the first group of Southern Illinois Master Naturalists in 2013. She has also shared her time and talents with other community organizations, such as Gilead Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Johnson County Ambulance Service, and the Daniel Chapman Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, where she serves as Conservation Co-Chair.
Friends of the Cache River Watershed is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and sharing a unique natural and recreational resource, the Cache River Wetlands.