Bur Oak names 2021 Conservation Heroes

Bur Oak Land Steward Carter Johnson, left, presents Erika Billerbeck with the 2021 Bur Oak Land Trust Conservation Award.

Each year, Bur Oak Land Trust recognizes an individual in the community who exemplifies our conservation mission. This year, we also chose to honor someone very close to our organization for their lifelong dedication to conservation.

Congratulations to Erika Billerbeck and Lon Drake, recipients of this year’s Conservation Award and Lifetime Conservation Award.

Erika has served the state of Iowa for 21 years as a conservation officer with the Department of Natural Resources. She protects nature and the people who enjoy it. Erika also started an out-of-school program during the pandemic for children to develop an interest in nature and is most recently an accomplished author.

Lon Drake has been involved with Bur Oak for many years and currently writes blogs for our website. He taught in the geology department at the University of Iowa where he is now holds the title professor emeritus, and worked as an industry geology consultant. Lon has been a mentor and inspiration to the community, and has passed down his love of conservation to his students and family.

We honored Erika and Lon during our Be a Force for Nature virtual campaign. Please watch the full video on our homepage or YouTube channel. Hear Iowans sharing what nature means to them, Bur Oak’s leadership responding to our current conservation challenges, and our special section dedicated to Erika and Lon.

We encourage you to join us by donating, becoming a member, and sharing/liking our Force for Nature posts on social media. Together let’s inspire those around us to care for and protect the remaining natural spaces close to home.

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