Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Press Releases from York County


York County wins eight NACO Achievement Awards
July 26, 2010
As part the ongoing effort to provide low cost, high quality services to its citizens, York County routinely encourages employees to think creatively and develop programs that will enable the county to work more efficiently and effectively.
This year, the county is pleased to have been recognized for those efforts with an outstanding eight Achievement Awards granted by the National Association of Counties for various county programs and initiatives.
"It is quite an honor to be recognized on the national level for programs that county staff has created and implemented," said County Administrator James O. McReynolds. "County employees work very hard to serve the citizens of York, and these awards are recognition of a job well done."
The following are programs that won Achievement Awards this year, and the names of county staff accepting those awards and congratulations from Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Wiggins. For more information on these award winning programs, please contact the Public Information Office at 890-3300.
Science Field Trip Productions
During these tough economic times, budget cuts in schools have virtually eliminated science-based field trips, a once-beloved tradition in our elementary schools. By partnering with other departments and experts from the local community, reusing supplies and relying on grants and volunteer hours, the Virginia Cooperative Extension – York County created a science field trip program to fill that void at a surprisingly low cost. Additionally, the field trips serve to get students outdoors and involved in hands-on activities while also fulfilling science requirements. Over 200 5th grade students have participated in these field trips so far.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized York Master Gardeners Barb Dunbar and Teresa Bennett, York Extension Agent Dan Nortman.
Wetlands Interpretive Sanctuary for Education (WISE)
Faced with the problems of replacing wetlands that were lost in the construction of the Tabb Library and a drainage issue in the Lackey area of the county, staff members found they could solve both issues at once by creating a wetlands area. Additionally, staff realized the area could be created to serve as a learning area for citizens to become involved in and educated about water quality issues and environmental preservation. The result was the creation of the Wetlands Interpretive Sanctuary for Education at Charles Brown Park in Lackey. The sanctuary consists of a new wetlands area, a ½ mile trail, a stream channel with stabilized banks and improved downstream drainage for the local residential neighborhood.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Special Programs Manager Ken Drees, Environmental Programs Manager Anna Drake and Recreation Supervisor Rick Smethurst.
Bats, Balls, and a BMP: An Intergovernmental Project Produces Regional Benefits
As York County began the process to develop its 13-field Sports Complex, officials invited Newport News Waterworks (NNWW) – the regional water supplier – to become part of the development planning, because of NNWW's sizable land holdings and proximity to the land being eyed for the new complex. As planning progressed, it became clear that both entities could partner in the construction of a regional BMP to treat stormwater runoff from a 60-acre watershed in York County. Because of the proposed BMP site's close proximity to the complex, adding it as part of the project would save money as opposed to constructing it as a stand alone project at a later date. Now that it has been constructed, previously uncontrolled and untreated runoff from the 60-acre watershed area is now being controlled and treated before entering the nearby reservoir.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Recreation Supervisor Brian Fuller and Community Services Director Anne Smith
AED Locator
Now that Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have been placed in strategic locations, public buildings, and parks throughout York County and the cities of Poquoson and Williamsburg, the county's Computer Aided Dispatch Administrator has designed mapping programs with the ability to alert 911 dispatchers to the locations of these AEDs. With this software, 911 dispatchers can direct emergency callers to the location of the closest AED so that life saving efforts can start immediately, before emergency responders are on-scene.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Emergency Communications Training Coordinator Jane Jackson.
Birds, Bees and Building Sustainability
Two years ago, as part of its "Go Green" initiative, York County began converting large areas of lawn in parks and along highways into low-maintenance wildflower management areas and bird sanctuaries. Many of these areas are located along the local waterways throughout the county and are part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This program, which relied heavily on partnerships with local citizen groups and organizations, has created biodiversity, aided in stormwater management, and preserved water resources. Also, these efforts will save the county money on future maintenance costs, beautify our highways and byways, and provide citizens with areas for outdoor recreation.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Landscape Superintendent Joanne Chapman.
EMS Mobile Training Trailers
The department of Fire and Life Safety developed two Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Mobile Training trailers that allow training equipment to be moved to multiple locations for EMS skills training. Making the training materials portable allows personnel to receive necessary training at their assigned fire station, thus allowing them to remain on-duty and available to respond to emergency calls.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Battalion Chiefs Thom Schwalenberg and Chris Sadler.
Safe Work Area Ambulance Design
Seeking to ensure the safety of care providers in the patient care area of ambulances, the department of Fire and Life Safety developed a design concept that would improve safety for EMS personnel while allowing them the same access to the patient and all necessary supplies. These newly designed ambulances have already been displayed at several emergency medical services conferences.
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Battalion Chiefs Thom Schwalenberg and Chris Sadler.
Mass Casualty/Evacuation Transport Unit
In coordination with the York County School Division, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, and other Hampton Roads localities, the Department of Fire and Life Safety has helped develop a means of transporting large numbers of mild to moderately injured patients during emergency events. Using grant money, the county recently converted a donated school bus into one of these Mass Casualty/Evacuation Transport Units. The refurbished bus was redesigned and outfitted to transport patients during mass casualty incidents or during situations where large numbers of non-ambulatory patients need to be evacuated (e.g. severe weather, terrorist incidents, or other catastrophic events).
Board Chairman Don Wiggins recognized Battalion Chiefs Thom Schwalenberg and Chris Sadler.
Williamsburg Bird Club presents certificate of appreciation to NQP
July 27, 2010
Members of the Williamsburg Bird Club presented a certificate of appreciation to New Quarter Park staff on Saturday, July 24, to recognize them for all that they and York County Parks and Recreation have done to preserve and restore wildlife habitat and support the Williamsburg Bird Club's twice-a-month bird walks.
In addition to the Bird Walks, New Quarter Park has partnered with several local environmental stewardship groups including the Williamsburg Bird Club, Historic Rivers Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist, John Clayton Chapter of Virginia Native Plant Society, and Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District to restore a portion of the park to attract Northern Bobwhite, whose population have dramatically declined in Virginia.
The Master Naturalists are also developing a Teaching Garden to help visitors better appreciate the diversity of plants there. The park has also partnered with Chesapeake Bay VoiCeS volunteers who raise oysters in Queens Creek for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Oyster Habitat Restoration Program.
For more information, contact Parks and Recreation at 890-3500.
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