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Will County Employee Recipient of Annual Amicus Terrae Award

amicus terrae award 2011 001

Land Use Department created to honor those dedicated to land preservation
A Will County Land Use employee has been named this year’s recipient of the Amicus Terrae or Friend of the Land award. Dean Olson, director of the county’s Resource Recovery and Energy Division within the Land Use Department, received this year’s honor for his dedication and assistance in protecting both manmade and natural resources in the county.
“I am truly humbled to accept the 2011 Amicus Terrae – Friend of the Land award,” Olson said, who has worked for the county for more than 14 years. “This award could not have been possible were it not for the support and expertise of my coworkers, the County Executive and his staff. I am very grateful to work for a department director and a County Executive that places protection of our environment at a high priority.”
According to Curt Paddock, director of the Will County Land Use Department, the award was created in 2009 to recognize individuals who demonstrate a remarkable loyalty in serving as stewards of the county’s assets, providing guidance and assistance in the lifecycle of both its natural and built environments in incorporated and unincorporated areas. The award is based upon the ideas and principles of Aldo Leopold, a 20th century naturalist, conservationist, and environmental philosopher.
“Dean has provided strong leadership in maintaining the important balance of natural preservation and growth,” Paddock said. “Dean is truly dedicated to preserving the natural resources of our county and making it easy for our residents to do so as well.”
Olson was instrumental in securing a grant from the Department of Energy to further the green mission of Will County. In 2009, the county received a $3.2 million grant to fund several projects including the construction of a gas to energy plant at the county-owned Prairie View Landfill. Paddock said Olson assisted with the grant application and has been intimately involved with the project since its inception.
“Dean has been a driving force in moving forward conservation and recycling efforts in Will County,” Paddock said. “His dedication and his vision in creating various recycling events have helped Will County achieve national acclaim for our efforts. We have become a model for other counties across the nation.”
Will County Executive Larry Walsh, who oversees the Will County Land Use Department, acknowledges the significant contributions Olson has made.
“Dean has a great passion for conserving our county’s resources,” Walsh said. “Through his efforts, Will County has regularly scheduled collections for used tires, household hazardous wastes, and electronics recycling. All of these programs and the creation of the gas to energy plant keep Will County moving forward. I am proud Dean has been chosen for this award. It is a clear indication of Dean’s commitment and dedication to Will County.”

Will County Executive Larry Walsh (right) joined Curt Paddock (left), director of the Will County Land Department, in congratulating Dean Olson, the 2011 winner of the department’s annual Amicus Terrae award. Olson, director of the county’s Resource Recovery and Energy Division, received this year’s award for his dedication and assistance in protecting both manmade and natural resources in the county. (Photo courtesy of Will County Executive’s Office)

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