New Faces in WCCB

Faith Henrichs – Naturalist

Introducing Wapello County Conservation Boards new Naturalist, Faith Henrichs! Faith completed the Conservation Tech program through EICC then transferred to Western Illinois University where she studied Recreation, Parks, Tourism & Administration with a minor in Environmental Studies. While in college, she was a Natural Resource Technician for the City of Bettendorf where she worked exclusively at Forest Grove Park – a 95 acre natural area. After graduating with her B.A., she joined AmeriCorps as an Iowa 4-H Environmental Educator for Scott County Conservation Board serving at the Wapsi River Environmental Education Center. While serving Scott County Conservation, she facilitated a wide variety of programs ranging from sustainability to macroinvertebrate studies to Leave No Trace workshops.

Faith stated, “Ever since I can remember, I have always loved the great outdoors. Growing up, I spent a lot of my time outside playing in our backyard mud pit, climbing trees, catching bugs and going on family camping trips. In my free time, I enjoy frolicking the great outdoors, paddling, and fly fishing. I feel very fortunate to be in a position that aligns with my personal passion and values. I am excited to be able to spread awareness and land stewardship about our natural world. I’m thrilled to be here with Wapello County Conservation Board and I look forward to meeting more of the wonderful individuals that make up this county and surrounding areas. Please stop by Pioneer Ridge and say hi! I can’t wait to meet you!”

Paige Shafer Education Specialist

Meet our new Education Specialist, Paige Shafer! In this new role, Paige will be assisting with educational programming, grant writing and starting and managing a roadside program for Wapello County! Paige received a B.A. in Biology with minors in Environmental Science and Leadership from Wartburg College. During her time at Wartburg, she conducted research on the nutrient dynamics of perennial herbaceous plants, as well as worked for the Denver Botanic Gardens as a research and herbarium intern. She was a forestry technician and field crew leader for the United States Forest Service Prescribed Fire Study located in Northern Wisconsin. More recently, Paige was an AmeriCorps Service member and Program Assistant for the Tallgrass Prairie Center working primarily with Iowa Roadside Management and assisted in developing various educational programs for the public.

Paige notes, “I am excited by the opportunity to assist in strengthening the Wapello County Conservation Board by connecting people to Iowa’s natural resources. Conservation and restoration efforts of Iowa’s natural areas are heavily dependent on having a shared language and goal. Through education and outreach, I hope to spread awareness and appreciation of the unique natural areas Wapello County has.”

David ShkiryakConservation Intern

Welcome Wapello County Conservation Boards newest Conservation Intern, David Shkiryak! Dave is enrolled in the Air Force SkillBridge Program which is designed for Service members to participate in job training and employment skills training while they finish out the last 6 months of service. Director Rick Tebbs quotes, “Dave has been a great asset to the Wapello County Conservation Board team and we are happy that he looked at us when enrolling for the SkillBridge program.”

 Dave grew up in South Central Iowa and has always appreciated spending time in nature and found it rewarding no matter the season. He pursued a career in conservation and obtained a degree from Iowa State in Environmental Science and Forestry. Dave stated, “During my time at ISU, I enjoyed volunteering at parks across Iowa to restore habitat, gathering prairie seed, and removing invasive species. This was a great way to experience Iowa parks while improving habitat and getting to know the people who worked in conservation and learning firsthand from them. After graduating ISU I joined the Air Force to serve this country. This time was a very enriching experience which included a lot of travel and an overseas deployment from which I learned and grew a tremendous amount. After coming back to home to Iowa and interning with WCCB I have been working across the county to help improve timber stand quality and plant prairies. I’m very excited for prescribed burn season to begin. Some of my favorite things about Wapello County parks so far are seeing trumpeter swans, the incredible population of bald eagles, and the not-so-common for Iowa sandstone bluffs. I greatly appreciate being able to help preserve these gems for future generations.”