A local group has been honored for outstanding work in community organizing.

The Sierra Club of Iowa recently presented the Winneshiek County Protectors (WCP) with its Neal Smith Grass Roots Award at a ceremony at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City.

The award is presented "to the people who have done outstanding work in protection of the environment," said Pamela Mackey, chair of the awards committee.

The Allamakee County Protectors, which also received an award, accepted the award on behalf of Winneshiek County.

"We are immensely pleased the Sierra Club chose Allamakee County Protectors and WCP as the recipients of their annual award of recognition for grassroots environmental activism, the Neal Smith Award. Being recognized by your peers for all your hard work is as rewarding as the work itself," said Jeff Abbas of the Allamakee County Protectors board.

Bob Watson of WCP said, "We appreciate getting the award."

About WCP

Earlier this year, a group of local, concerned citizens formed the Winneshiek County Protectors to address the possibility of frac-sand mining coming to Winneshiek County.

Since its formation, the group has been involved in community education, film showings and a petition drive urging the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors to enact a moratorium.

In June, the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an 18-month moratorium on issuing conditional use permits for frac-sand mining in Winneshiek County.