MUSCATINE Iowa – A longtime advocate of sustainability and preservation of the environment was recently honored by the Water Environment Federation (WEF). Jon Koch, director of the Water Pollution Control Plant for the City of Muscatine, was presented the Arthur Sidney Bedell Award in recognition of his leadership.
“I am more than a little bit humbled by this award,” Koch said. “I am grateful to the association and its members for recognizing something that I love to do.”
Koch originally received the award at the Iowa Water Environment Association (IAWEA) meeting on June 6, 2018. The award was presented again at the Muscatine City Council meeting Thursday (June 21, 2018) by Jay Brady, an environment engineer for Stanley Consultants and IAWEA officer.
“In addition to Association leadership and participation, he [Koch] has demonstrated strong leadership for the Muscatine area water and natural environments,” Brady said.
The award was “established to acknowledge extraordinary personal service to a WEF member association”.
Koch is the newly appointed president of the IAWEA having previously served as vice president and as regional director.
Through IAWEA, Koch has had the opportunity to travel to conferences around the country to learn about new ideas and approaches that other states are using to promote water sustainability. Furthermore, he has traveled to Washington, D.C., to share these insights and his own with senators and representatives from Iowa. This was all done on a volunteer basis, one of the core values of IAWEA.
Koch became involved in IAWEA through his work as the Water Pollution Control Plant Director for the city but also has a passion and enthusiasm for sustainability. He works with a commitment to the triple bottom line, people, plant, profit. Under Koch’s leadership and hard work, Muscatine has become a more sustainable and beautiful city.
IAWEA is a member association of the WEF.
Muscatine Pollinator Project
Koch is an active member and proponent of the Muscatine Pollinator Club. Their main goal is to support the planting of native flowers and grasses to provide food for pollinators like monarch butterflies and honey bees. In turn, these pollinators are vital to our own food chain, as about a third of the food we eat requires pollination.
Some recent projects include the Pollinator Park off of Houser Street, and the revitalization of the Muscatine Community College greenhouse to grow pollinator friendly plants to be replanted around town.
If you want to join or would like more information, click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/257098324636125/about/
MARRVE stands for the Muscatine Area Resource Recovery for Vehicles and Energy program. The main goal of this project is to convert organic waste, such as uneaten or expired food, into renewable natural gas. This type of organic waste comprises about one-fifth of all landfills and can be collected from a large swath of area homes, businesses, schools, etc.
The gas produced can then be used by compressed natural gas vehicles. Incredibly, this is the only “carbon negative footprint vehicle fuel that removes more carbon from the environment than it puts out when burned”. As such, the environment will be much better off.
In order to achieve this, the city has plans to build a new facility next to the Water Pollution Control Plant, with construction set to begin in the fall. Once completed the MARRVE facility will be one of only a few in the country, and the only one in Iowa. In doing so, Muscatine will benefit from being from being an industry leader, drawing recognition from all over the country.
For more information, click here: https://www.muscatineiowa.gov/1122/MARRVE
Extraordinary Personal Service
These two projects are just a small part of what Koch has done to earn the Bedell Award. He has put in countless hours volunteering in the community and through his work at the IAWEA. He continues to be an inspiration in his pursuit of sustainability and making Muscatine a better place to live for all.