The Minnesota Division Awards are given to Izaak Walton League members in Minnesota who 
  have accomplished notable conservation work in Minnesota.
Larry Dolphin received the 2012 IWLA Distinguished Service Award


Larry received this award for his great service to the MN Division and Austin Chapter 10:


Minnesota Division President 2011 to 2013 – Larry successfully led the Division for two years.  He has provided strong leadership and a clear conservation vision. 


Minnesota Division Vice President 2009 to 2011 – As Vice President, Larry was instrumental in many division efforts:


Austin Chapter 10 – Larry started his relationship with IWLA at the chapter level.  His contributions include:

  • Austin Chapter 10 President 2002 – 2004, 2007 – 2009
  • State Director-at-Large 2007 – 2008
  • Program Chair 2000 – present
  • Led the clean water effort in Mower County leading to a IWLA Save-Our-Streams award in 2008

Jim Stiles (2nd from left) and Mark Owens (3rd from left) receive 2011 Stewardship Awards

In 2007, Larry took on the task of cleaning up our local waters.  He worked with partners from Southeast Minnesota Wastewater Initiative and Cannon River Watershed Partnership to look at the sources of water pollution and to document illegal straight pipe water pollution.  Larry took his findings to the Mower County Commissioners.  He requested they attempt to help those looking for solutions as well as to enforce Minnesota state laws on those in violation. 


Through his efforts, Mower County was one of the first counties in Minnesota to actually cite individuals using straight pipes.  Two areas that had been polluting have solved their waste issues.  Larry’s initiative and drive assisted those that wanted to stop polluting local waters. 


In 2008, Austin Chapter 10 received the national Save-Our-Streams Award from the IWLA National Office due to Larry’s efforts.

Larry Dolphin (right) receives the 2010 Stewardship Award from Austin Chapter 10 President Jim Stiles.
In 2010, Austin Chapter 10 had two members receive Stewardship Awards: Larry Dolphin for his tireless efforts in promoting clean water in Mower County and Bob Goetz for his success in bringing more purple martins back to Austin.

Bob started a purple martin project in 2006.  The project’s goal was to set up martin houses to attract purple martins back to Austin.  He secured funding for the houses from Austin Chapter 10 and the Austin Audubon Society. 


Over the course of three years, he erected six martin houses on public land and five houses on private property.  The houses were new, refurbished, and two wooden houses that Bob built.  Bob, along with a few volunteers, spent over a hundred hours refurbishing, building and erecting the houses.  During the 16-week nesting season, Bob and volunteers conducted weekly nest inspections to determine nesting success.  In 2009, he contacted the Mower County 4-H and started a martin learning project.  Each week, Bob and 4-H members conducted nest checks and documented the nesting success of each house. 


Through Bob’s efforts, Austin now has more purple martins returning to nest and thrive.

Bob Goetz (right) receives the 2010 Stewardship Award from Austin Chapter 10 President Jim Stiles.
John Beckel (2005) and Larry Dolphin (2006) received the Stewardship Award for their exhaustive efforts in expanding the Hormel Nature Center in Austin, MN.


John and Larry were co-chairs on the Hormel Nature Center Land Expansion Project Committee that began in 2002.  The purpose of this project was to raise funds to acquire adjacent land to the Nature Center and then restore that farmland to prairie and oak savannah. 


The fundraising goal was to raise $750,000 to acquire and restore 210 acres.  Over $868,000 has been raised and 226 acres have been added to the Nature Center.
Terry Dorsey (right) presents Larry Dolphin (middle) with the 2006 MN Division Stewardship Award.
John Beckel receives the 2005 MN Division Stewardship Award.
Sigurd Olson Award


The Sigurd Olson Award is one of the oldest Minnesota Division Awards.  It is given to a person "who has made an outstanding contribution to the preservation of our natural resources statewide."


Bev Nordby received the Sigurd Olson Award in 2005 for her dedicated efforts to bring the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program II (CREP II) to southeastern Minnesota.  Bev has been the Mower County SWCD District Manager since 1987 and has worked diligently in bringing CREP to SE MN since 1999.


On April 22, 2005, Governor Pawlenty signed the CREP II agreement providing up to $250 million dollars to set aside 120,000 acres and protect water quality.
Bev Nordby (left) receives the 2005 Sigurd Olson award at the 2005 Minnesota Division State Convention held in Austin, MN.
2011 Stewardship Awards were given to Jim Stiles and Mark Owens for successful conservation projects.


Jim Stiles received the 2011 Stewardship Award for his work on the Mill Pond Rain Garder Project, Clean Water Land Legacy Amendment, and organizing annual bus trips to the state capital to speak with area legislators.


Mark Owens received the 2011 Stewardship Award for his leadership on the Mill Pond Rain Garden Project, Cedar River and Dobbins Creek Water Monitoring Project, and assisting the Purple Martin Project.


Both Jim and Mark are leaders in Chapter 10 who have displayed initiative and drive to complete many conservation related projects over the course of many years.