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The Shirley Conservation Commission would like to express its sincere appreciation to Nancy Askin, who has served faithfully on this committee for over 11 years.

For the last five years of her tenure, Nancy has served as chairman of the Conservation Commission. Throughout this time, Nancy has proven to be a valuable resource for her knowledge of local, state and federal regulations pertaining to wetlands protection and other environmental issues. She has provided an enthusiastic attitude and empowering management style in all conservation meetings and functions. Moreover, she has maintained a fair and even-handed leadership that has resulted in good relations with the town government and townspeople, and has acted with utmost professionalism in all her dealings with the public.

Of particular note, Nancy effectively served as both chairman and conservation agent in absentia during a difficult year-long period in which the conservation agent position was left vacant or only filled transiently. During this time, and in addition to running Conservation Commission meetings every two weeks, Nancy put in even more than her typical 3-5 hours per week on a volunteer basis at the Conservation Commission office in the town of Shirley office building.

As part of her vision in administering the Conservation Commission, Nancy has been instrumental in implementing the Open Space Plan for the town of Shirley, and has spearheaded efforts to develop parcels within the town’s Rich Tree Farm and Pumpkin Brook Conservation areas for timber cutting, as well as creation of a mixed-successional area that favors critical turtle nesting and bird habitat.

During her tenure, Nancy has focused on developing further public awareness of Shirley’s conservation properties, including placing new signs designating the entrance to many of the areas, with provision for disabled parking also available where appropriate. In particular, Nancy has overseen the improvement of the historic Longley Acres property, including implementing the management for environmentally friendly hayfields, and upkeep of the original Longley home and barn.

Nancy has led or helped sponsor multiple nature walks in which her vast flora/fauna expertise became evident, and organized the recent clean-up and removal of invasive plant species at the Fredonian Park in downtown Shirley.

Nancy recently stepped down from her chairmanship at the Conservation Committee, but remains as an associate member where she hopes to focus her efforts on specific conservation projects she is passionate about.

We wish to thank her for all her many contributions to the Conservation Commission, and wish her well in all her future pursuits.

Shirley Conservation Commission

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