Joe Maroon, Executive MNR (XMNR) degree program faculty member and recognized leader in conservation for over 35 years, was inducted into the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD’s) Southeast Region Conservation Hall of Fame at a luncheon in Williamsburg, Virginia, on August 6, 2018 during the NACD Summer Conservation Forum and Tour and Southeast Region Meeting.  The Hall of Fame honors distinguished conservationists whose careers have resulted in the wise use of our nations precious natural resources upon which we all depend.  Maroon was nominated for the honor by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) for his significant contribution to soil and water conservation.

“With leadership positions in government, the nonprofit sector, academia, and the grant making world, Joe Maroon has over the course of his career made a significant impact on the preservation and restoration of the natural resources of Virginia and beyond,” said Steven Meeks, VASWCD President.

Maroon has served in a variety of environmental leadership roles, including serving as the first Virginia Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for over 16 years and as Director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) under former Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.  He has participated as a member of numerous boards and taught at the graduate level at both Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia. Since 2013, Maroon has served as Executive Director of the Virginia Environmental Endowment, a leading philanthropic foundation based in Richmond committed to the improvement of Virginia’s environment. In his host of leadership roles, Maroon has been instrumental in helping put in place many of the laws and programs that now serve as the basis for water and land protection in the Commonwealth.

While at DCR (2002-2010), Maroon strengthened the agency’s relationship with the state’s soil and water conservation districts, defending them against state budget cuts, and advocating for substantially more state funding for agricultural and urban conservation programs and district support. Maroon has received recognition for his leadership and effectiveness from numerous organizations. In 2000, he was selected as one of Virginia’s Outstanding Environmental Leaders and in 2010, the Virginia General Assembly passed a commending resolution honoring him for his outstanding career and accomplishments.

Dr. Kendall Tyree, VASWCD Executive Director stated “Joe Maroon has shown extraordinary vision as a conservation leader. His distinguished career and personal commitment to conservation simply brushes at the experience and leadership he has offered to the field. The Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts is appreciative of his continued contributions to conservation at the state, regional and national level and proud to have nominated him for this recognition.”

Congratulations, Joe!