Conservation district honors Billings for environmental reporting

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GORHAM — Staff writer Randy Billings of The Forecaster was among nine individuals and groups honored March 30 at the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District’s annual meeting.

Billings, who covers South Portland and Portland for the weekly newspaper, was named the district’s Journalist of the Year for his reporting on environmental issues, including stories on the restoration of the Long Creek Watershed.

Tamara Lee Pinard said Billings demonstrated a commitment to accurately reporting complex storm-water and wetlands issues in a way that keeps them in the forefront of people’s minds.

“What is impressive is that he has a clear grasp of the issues,” she said.

South Portland engineering firm Deluca-Hoffman Associates received the district’s Contractor of the Year award for its no-charge work toward improving the Long Creek Watershed and other projects.

Jim Katsiaficas, of the Portland law firm Perkins Thompson, was named Business Partner of the Year for work on producing an inter-local agreement for the Long Creek Watershed.

Moorebrook Farm, a 250-acre, fourth-generation farm in Scarborough that provides produce to Hannaford Bros. Co, was named Conservation Farm of the Year for its pest management, compost, irrigation management and nutrient management practices.

Lynda Reed was named Steward of the Year. The Moose Pond Association was named Stewardship Group of the Year. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection received the Conservation Partner award. And Windham High School teacher Jeff Riddle was named Educator of the Year.

CCSWD Board Member Richard Wood was also honored for going “above and beyond” to help the district.