Lynn Henning earns international environmental award 4.21.10

Written by David Green.

The name “Lynn Henning” is not spoken  kindly among many farmers of southeast Michigan. On the other hand, those concerned about the growth of large farming operations hail Henning as a hero.

She’s been verbally threatened, she’s been sued and she’s had her car boxed in by manure tankers in rural roads. Dead animals have been left on her porch and in her mailbox, and she said the combine on her farm near Clayton was once damaged.

Not everyone appreciates the work she’s done in tracking down manure discharges from farming operations, but her work garnered the praise of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund.

Henning was one of six citizens from around the world to receive the 2010 Goldman Environmental Prize. Other winners this year are from Costa Rica, Cuba, Cambodia, Poland and Swaziland.

The annual award—with its $150,000 prize—is presented to “grassroots environmental heroes” whose efforts to protect natural resources are considered “increasingly critical to the well-being of the planet.”

For more than 10 years Henning has helped document manure discharges that aided state regulators to identify and fine operations for violations of state environmental laws.

She has collected hundreds of water samples and studied satellite photographs and drainage maps to trace pollution. She figures she’s put a million miles on three vehicles as she travels rural roads to document manure applications.

Steven Chester, former director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, told a Detroit Free Press reporter that most farming operations are in compliance with state law, but a few give large farms a bad name.

He praised Henning’s work to keep the issue in the DEQ’s vision and noted her assistance was valuable when the DEQ faced staff reductions.

Henning was honored Monday at a ceremony in San Francisco. A second ceremony is planned in Washington, D.C.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017