OLYMPIA - The Washington State Senate honored Sunnyside water conservationist Walter George yesterday (Wednesday) for his work on water issues on behalf of the people of the Yakima Valley.
George, who retires this year after nearly 26 years as an unpaid district supervisor for the Yakima Conservation District, was honored by the passage of Senate Resolution 8698, which praises him for his "extraordinary volunteer efforts and achievements."
Sen. Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside, who sponsored the resolution, said it is important to recognize George for his many contributions to the Yakima Valley.
"This year, Walt is going to retire from the conservation district," said the Sunnyside Republican. "He is going to be sorely missed. It's special to honor him and say thank you for all his service."
George served as the chairman of the Water Quality Committee for Yakima County and as chairman of the Water Quality Committee for the Washington Association of Conservation Districts.
A World War II veteran, George continues to farm on 40 acres east of Sunnyside, growing corn and native spearmint.
Following the passage of his resolution, George told the state senators about his work on the Yakima Conservation District.
"This doesn't happen just with one person," George said. "A little bit of leadership from me, but I had a board that supported me, and citizens - with a little technical help and some cost share - did this job.
"If the citizens and the farmers in my area hadn't been willing to cooperate and do the job, it would have never happened. Thank you all. This is a great honor," George said.
In addition to his other volunteer activities, George served as the director of the Diamond Fruit Growers board, Supervisor of Drainage District #19, chairman of the Water Quality Committee for the Washington Association of Conservation Districts, and as area president for the South Central Area for the Water Quality Committee.
Born in Elberta, Ala. on August 20th, 1924, George has resided in the Sunnyside area since 1932. He started farming with his father and brothers in 1946. In addition to the countless years of service to his community, George honorably served his country in the armed services, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, and attaining the rank of Sergeant Major. He also served 30 years of active service in the United States Army Reserve.
He continues to serve his country as the commander of American Legion, Post 73, and is an active member of Sunnyview VFW Post #3482 in Sunnyside.
This past winter, he and his wife Betty served as the grand marshals of the 15th annual Country Christmas Lighted Farm Implement Parade for their contributions to the community.