Don Spickler would be the picture you see when you look up the definition of service. Don was active with districts on the local, state and national level for over 42 years. Don began serving on his local board in 1971 and maintained that service until 2013, when failing health demanded his retirement. While serving the Washington County Soil Conservation District he held all posts of leadership, including member, treasurer, vice chair and chair.
Don served the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts (MASCD) as a member, treasurer and president. Don is credited with helping move the Maryland Districts to a position of leadership in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay by working with Maryland Governor Harry Hughes. Don was especially helpful in this project in the agricultural community because of his prior work with districts. Don served 12 years on the Maryland State Soil Conservation Committee (SSCC), including the position of Chair from 1982-1985.
Don served on the NACD board and several committees, including as chair of the Urban Committee, and was NACD’s Northeast Region Chair. However, Don will always be remembered for his service as Treasurer of NACD President’s Association and as Treasurer of the National Conservation Foundation. While serving in these two positions, he held the two organizations together during years when both were struggling to survive. He along with a handful of “old timers” carried the two organizations on their shoulders and made sure they were not forgotten. When the time was right, Don, in his quiet and unassuming manner, was there to provide advice, offer more help and donate financially.
As the National Conservation Foundation became more active, Don’s vision of the purpose of the Foundation took on new life, and Don, along with his spouse Mary Jane, began to see the possibility of the Envirothon expanding to become international. They also saw the possibility of the National Conservation Foundation becoming the funding mechanism for the Envirothon, as well as for some NACD operations. They were so committed to this idea and such believers in the mission that they donated over $72,000.00 to help this become a reality.
Don was always willing to serve and to lead the cause of conservation forward at the local, state and national levels.
Record of Service in Maryland
1971-2013 Served as Supervisor, as member, Treasurer, Vice Chair and Chair, Washington County SCD
1979-1983 1st VP of MASCD
1982 – 1985 Chair of SSCC
1985-1987 President of MASCD
1985 and 1992-2001 Served on NACD Council
1992-94 MASCD nominating committee
1995-2003 AND 07-09 Treasurer of MASCD
Record of National Service
1986-92 Served on NACD Board of Directors
1989-92 Served as NACD Northeast Regional Chair
1987-8 Member of NACD Coastal and Urban Committee
1989-92 Chair of NACD Coastal and Urban Committee
1988-90 Member NACD Audit Committee
1991 Chair NACD Audit Committee
1991-92 Member NACD Finance committee
1991 NACD Representative to Plant Materials Committee
1991 NACD Representative to SCS Volunteers Committee
1992 Member of NACD Resolutions Committee
1999-2002 Member of National Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees
2003-2014 Treasurer, National Conservation Foundation
2014 Designated as the first Honorary Member of the National Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees
2000-2012 Secretary-Treasurer of NACD Presidents Association