Fulton County Conservation District employee Lora Aldridge was recently named employee of the year by the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts. She was selected for the honor based on the recommendations of her colleagues and her exemplary work record, according to the AACD. Aldridge has been secretary and project coordinator in the conservation district's Fulton County office for the last 18 years.
The conservation district is a branch of the Arkansas Soil and Water Commission. It provides, environmental awareness and solutions to problems residents might have as it pertains to their land. These services are free.
Aldridge said receiving the award was a shock. She said "winning the award was a result of the easygoing, family atmosphere found within the district's office. There have been far more good days in this office than bad over the last 18 years."
Winning the award was also a by product of hard work. In 2003 Aldridge wrote 13 letters to the Arkansas Soil and Water Commission. "These letters were very instrumental in bringing several projects to Fulton County," said district grasslands specialist Joe Massey. Some of these projects included: Reach I, Strawberry River Watershed Project, Ozark Highlands Streambank Stabilization Project, Strawberry River Forestry Project and the Alternative Livestock Water Demonstration Project. These projects brought in $1,773,936.28 to the county in 2003. Aldridge was instrumental in developing the Fulton County Fishing Adventure and coordinating activities for the Fulton County Quail Focal Area Project.
Aldridge, a lifelong resident of Fulton County, said her ability to succeed at the conservation district office can be attributed to her knowledge of the people and the resources in the area. She said many things have changed over the years, like going from a manual typewriter to a computer, but the mission of the conservation district remains the same: protecting and informing people about their land and environment.
In her free time Aldridge is an avid sewer and gardener. She and her husband, Charles, have been married for 38 years. They have two children -- Barry and Stacy. She said she loves spending time with her four granddaughters -- Katelyn, Kirby, Haley and Sydney. She said she's especially proud of Haley because she has just qualified for the national gymnastics meet in Florida.