Larry and Marty Karigan-Winter recognized as 2023 War Eagle Creek Stewards.
The 2023 War Eagle Creek Steward Award was presented to Larry and Marty Karigan-Winter for their passion and leadership for environmental conservation and sustainability, leaving a lasting benefit for all residents of Madison County. As a young man, Larry recognized the growing problem of waste management in the area and saw an opportunity to make a real difference. In the early 1990s, Larry founded the Madison County Solid Waste and Recycling Program. He worked tirelessly to establish the program, which was the first of its kind in the state. His vision was to reduce the amount of waste that was sent to landfills, and instead, promote the recycling and repurposing of materials.
Larry’s program quickly gained support from the community, and he worked with local businesses and organizations to develop effective recycling strategies. He also organized educational programs to teach people about the importance of waste reduction and proper recycling techniques. Under Larry’s leadership, the Madison County Solid Waste and Recycling Program became a model for other communities in the state. He was recognized for his efforts and received numerous awards and accolades, including the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award in 1997. Larry continued to oversee the program until his retirement in 2014.
Larry and Marty’s stewardship work has continued on since Larry’s retirement. In their own backyard, the couple has recently placed a Conservation Easement on their 115-acre property in Madison County through the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust. The Karigan-Winters retain ownership and management of this special property but are now ensured that it will remain protected in perpetuity. The property is home to a unique 27-acre glade area, as well as an “Incubator Farm.” The Incubator Farm boasts a 30,000-square-foot commercial garden site, where a new generation of market farmers are finding support and guidance from the Karigan-Winters on their journey to buying their own farms. Larry attributes these environmental conservation and sustainability successes to “a lifestyle commitment for five decades,” and states that “it is easy to fight for the right things.”
This year’s award was presented on June 3rd, during War Eagle Appreciation Day, an annual community-wide event held at Withrow Springs State Pak. The gathering included music, food, and activities focused on celebrating the War Eagle, its watershed and the communities within it. The award promotes awareness of the impact that landowners, residents, and other community members have on the watershed and recognizes those who have worked hard to protect the War Eagle Creek watershed in some way by making a significant contribution to the water quality of the War Eagle Creek.
Photo: Marty and Larry Karigan-Winter holding the War Eagle Creek Steward Award plaque at the 2023 War Eagle Appreciation Day. Photo Credit: William Armacost, Division of Arkansas Tourism
The Beaver Watershed Alliance is a non-profit organization focused on maintaining high-quality drinking water in Beaver Lake and improving water quality within the Beaver Lake Watershed. For more information about how you can help protect water quality, visit www.beaverwatershedalliance.org or call 479-750-8007.