Explore, Experience and Enjoy the Beautiful Smith River in Southern Virginia

Monday, November 30, 2009

TU Names Brian Williams Conservation Educator of the Year for Virginia

Brian Williams of the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) was recently recognized by Trout Unlimited, a national conservation organization, as their Conservation Educator of the Year Award recipient for Virginia.

Williams worked as a volunteer with the Trout in the Classroom Program for four years helping with the creation of Virginia’s first Trout in the Classroom program in Martinsville & Henry County. In early 2008, he was hired as the Education, Outreach, and Conservation Coordinator for DRBA where he has continued to support Trout in the Classroom in more than 25 schools and in the Virginia Museum of Natural History. Williams currently works out of the organization’s Collinsville office. Since the inception of the program in Henry County by Dr. David Jones he has led the Smith River Chapter of Trout Unlimited in becoming the largest Trout in the Classroom Program in the nation.

Trout Unlimited recognized Williams at their annual meeting in Ruckersville, Virginia with the Mike Barbour Memorial Award for his extensive work in educating the public about the importance of water quality and conservation. His work has directly impacted many thousands of children and adults across Southern Virginia. Over the course of his career he has given more than 100 presentations to youth groups on the imperative need for conservation in the Smith River corridor and related areas, has staffed more than 25 workshops for teachers and other educators, has served as a river guide for youth and adult groups floating the river and has authored a new guide to the Smith River that is being used as a tool to promote tourism of our area.

According our local Trout in the Classroom sponsor, Dr. David Jones, Williams “is a tireless advocate for improving water quality in the Smith River, protecting riparian borders and view shed forested areas. His work and passions provide us with one of our greatest opportunities for creating jobs and tourism leading to economic recovery in the Martinsville-Henry County area.”

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