SHERIDAN — Carrie Rogaczewski was recognized as the Outstanding District Employee of the Year at the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts awards luncheon Thursday.
Rogaczewski is the district manager for the Sheridan County Conservation District. The SCCD works to protect land and water quality in Sheridan County, according to its website.
WACD program specialist Kelly Brown said Rogaczewski was nominated by the SCCD board along with several other employees from other districts around the state.
The thorough nomination outlined the extent of Rogaczewski’s contribution to her district and benefit to her community through her work, Brown said.
The award highlights an employee from a Wyoming conservation district who has “gone above and beyond their position requirements as well as their community and civic involvement,” according to the WACD website.
Susan Holmes, chairperson of the SCCD, said over the 21 years Rogaczewski has been with the SCCD and the 18 years they have worked together, Holmes has seen Rogaczewski’s projects benefit the community through water quality projects, education and outreach for younger community members, classroom demonstrations, events and strengthened community partnerships.
Rogaczewski works hard and accomplishes a broad range and depth of projects with minimal funding and staff, she said.
The work the SCCD performs for the region is often misunderstood or unknown, Holmes said. The board wanted to demonstrate with Rogaczewski’s nomination what an asset the organization is to the community.
Examples of recent and ongoing projects outlined in Rogaczewski’s nomination include the Acme Power Plant reclamation project, living snow fence on Interstate 90, storm water awareness projects, soil health workshop, Tongue River rehabilitation project and small acreage irrigation workshop with the University of Wyoming Goshen County extension.
Rogaczewski has built strong working relationships with the city of Sheridan, Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce and is active with the Northeast Wyoming Invasive Grasses working group.
Seven letters of support accompanied her nomination. Carli Kierstead, northeast Wyoming program director for the Nature Conservancy, said Rogaczewski has shown leadership in executing large projects, obtaining funding, managing relationships with landowners and supervising field work.
“She has not let the fact that the district receives no annual mill levy distract her from striving to make Sheridan County a better place to live,” Sheridan County Commissioner Steve Maier wrote. “Carrie’s strengths are her character, work ethic and sense of humor and perspective.”
Cindi Martinez with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality highlighted Rogaczewski’s role in a collaborative effort to obtain a $325,000 grant in 2018 for cleanup at the former Acme Power Plant site.
Brad Bauer, executive director of the Sheridan Community Land Trust, wrote about the strong partnership the SCLT has developed with the SCCD through Rogaczewski’s leadership, expertise and collaborative skills.
Sheridan Mayor Roger Miller highlighted her role in the Goose Creek Watershed project, storm water awareness strategy and efforts to remove KOA septic systems and connect to the city sewer system.
“In many ways, Carrie has exceeded the challenging requirements and expectations for this award,” Miller wrote. “I believe her ambitions, dedication and accomplishments make her highly deserving of the honor and opportunity bestowed by the Conservation District Employee of the year.”
It was challenging to keep the secret, Holmes said, but she believes Rogaczewski was surprised and touched to receive the award.