Conservation department director recognized

Thomas J. Steinke was honored at a special send-off from his conservation department position.

Thomas J. Steinke was honored at a special send-off from his conservation department position.

A reception in honor of Thomas J. Steinke, retiring director and developer of the Fairfield Conservation Department, was held by the Mill River Wetland Committee at Perry’s Mill on Oct. 23.

The committee presented Steinke with a kingfisher key ring for his assistance and the support of his department in the development and operation of MRWC’s River-Lab Program. (The kingfisher is MRWC’s symbol because of the bird’s beneficial role for rivers.)

During his 43 years with the department, Steinke has provided River-Lab’s developers with information from his research on use of land and coastal resources of this town and increased their understanding of geological and technological factors related to watershed development and management.

His time and knowledge, especially regarding use of local river estuaries, has helped build a strong River-Lab Program, which provides environmental science for students in third through sixth grades in the Fairfield public and parochial schools. Likewise, Steinke’s direction also enabled the department’s open space crew to be responsive to River-Lab trail needs.

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