Organizational History

The Conneaut Lake-French Creek Valley Conservancy was formed in 1982 by Dr. John and Betty Bailey in response to the proposed use of chemical herbicides to control weed growth in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania’s largest natural lake and an important outlet to French Creek. The organization was formed along with other concerned citizens and was administered by a volunteer board of directors from 1982 until 2008 when the first part-time Project Manager was hired. Currently FCVC is managed day to day by both full time and part time staff and advised by a volunteer board of directors. See the Meet the FCVC Team page for details.

The Conneaut Valley-French Creek Conservancy shortened its name to French Creek Valley Conservancy (FCVC) in 2005 to better represent its focus on permanent land protection efforts throughout the French Creek Watershed.

The first property FCVC acquired was “Walkers Landing” in 1993, which was donated for permanent stewardship and protection. That year, the inaugural French Creek Clean-up event was also held with support from The Nature Conservancy.

The Moss Easement, granted in 2000, was the first landowner partnership in the French Creek watershed for the express purpose of procuring conservation easements as a means of permanent land protection. Since then, the Conservancy has been acquiring properties by various conservation methods throughout the watershed. See the current list of properties in the Protecting Land page.

Since 2003, FCVC has recognized individuals at the annual dinner for their outstanding work in the watershed. Listed below are the recipients of those awards.

French Creek Awards

Bailey Lifetime Achievement Award

The Bailey Lifetime Achievement Award is a special award named in honor of Betty and the late Dr. John Bailey, founders of French Creek Valley Conservancy. This award recognizes the enduring efforts of those persons dedicated and working in the long-term for the conservation of our unique and rich landscape. It is a rare and unique individual who will have exhibited a lifetime of extraordinary passion for, and achievements in, conservation as the Baileys did. For this reason, this award is given irregularly.

2003- John and Betty Bailey

2004- Dick Krear

2005- Wayne Stainbrook

2006- Jim Holden

2007- Jean Stull Cunningham

2008- Jonathan Helmreich

2009- Ginny Crowe

2010- Karlin Marsh

2011- John Oliver

2012- No award given

2013- Bob and Kit Concilus

2014- Lynn Sandieson

2015- Charles Bier

2016- Ann Sand

2017- No award given

2018- No award given

Friend of French Creek Award

The friend of French Creek award is given annually to recognize the dedicated work of persons and organizations who have taken the lead in protecting French Creek for future generations.

2003–Jason Drake, PPG Industries, EASI (Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement)

2004 –Jim Palmer, Northwest PA Pollution Prevention Roundtable, Saegertown Boy Scout Troop 254 (Jerry Hunter, leader) and Calvin Ernst

2005–Judy Paul, Meadville Area Water Authority (MAWA), Center for Economic and Environmental Development’s Arts and Environment Initiative, Fred Croscut, and Wayne Stainbrook

2006–Crawford County Conservation District, Stephen Hall, French Creek Recreational Trails, and Robert Wright

2007- Judith Acker

2008- Jim Palmer

2009- Allegheny College

2010- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

2011- Darran Crabtree and Todd Sampsell

2012- No Award Given

2013- Troy and Lynn Firth

2014- Creek Connections

2015- Dan Henninger

2016- Davitt Woodwell and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council

2017- Greg Kedzierski

2018- Crawford County Senior Environmental Corps. Dick and Patty Runnels

2019- Ducks Unlimited