Lynn and Nancy Utesch of Kewaunee were recognized as the Door County Environmental Council’s Citizens of the Year at the organization’s annual summer meeting held at Baileys Harbor Town Hall on Sept. 9.
In introducing the award, DCEC board member Paul Leline said the organization took a look at “the many people who work hard around here to be part of this movement to conserve our natural world and strive for an ecological balance. Some of these folks are champions. This year we have unanimously selected two such champions, Lynn and Nancy Utesch of Kewaunee, champions who have taken on the great task of saving our waters.”
The Utesches founded the organization Kewaunee Cares, which has taken on the task of standing up for the endangered environment in a county where cows outnumber people 4 to 1, and where the spreading of massive amounts of liquid manure has contaminated 30 percent of the county’s wells.
“On behalf of my wife and myself, we’d like to thank the Door County Environmental Council for this very honorable award,” said Lynn Utesch. “This is truly an honor for us. They have been mentors for us throughout the years. Jerry Viste, the former executive director, has given us so much phenomenal advice.”
Utesch said he and his wife may be the face of Kewaunee Cares, but he named co-founders Bill Iwen and Jim Olson, who created the Kewaunee Cares website and blog, for being alongside them all the way.
“The people who really need to be thanked the most are the people,” Utesch said. “What we are doing is a movement. This is not about individuals. It’s about all the people, and I think all of you are part of that. It is truly a movement for the environment.”