SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PA – This week the Schuylkill Conservation District celebrated 65 years in service of protecting and restoring Schuylkill County’s natural resources. As part of the milestone celebration, Benesch’s Christopher Bentz, PE, BCO, was named Professional of the Year by the District. This recognition was one of several annual awards announced during the day’s activities.
Bentz, a senior project manager at Benesch and Construction Group Manager for the firm’s Pottsville Division, is a Schuylkill Conservation District board member and has been an active leader within the District since 2008. In that time, he has completed a number of projects that improve the county’s natural environment.
“One of the more memorable projects I’ve worked on [with the District and my coworkers at Benesch] was stream lining and realigning the West Branch of the Schuylkill River,” says Bentz. “The stream was experiencing flow loss into an underground mine pool, so we realigned it and installed a PVC liner and other natural features.”
Projects like this one allow native fish, insects and other aquatic life to flourish.
“This project is in my home township,” says Bentz. “My family and I have caught and released wild and stocked trout within 10 minutes of our house—this would have been unthinkable years ago.”
Bentz is currently in the planning stages of a similar project for West Creek.
The Schuylkill Conservation District provides education, cooperation, guidance, and technical assistance that promote wise stewardship, responsible development, and sustainability. To learn more about the district, visit their website.
(Pictured top: Christopher Bentz and others receive honors from the Schuylkill Conservation District during the organization’s 65th anniversary celebration).