Mary Ochsenschlager Is Sugar Grove's 2018 Citizen of The Year

Mary Ochsenschlager Is Sugar Grove’s 2018 Citizen of The Year

Mary Ochsenschlager is the 2018 Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year.

Ochsenschlager was presented the award on July 27 from Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels and Chamber of Commerce President Jackie Link during the Sugar Grove Corn Boil opening ceremony last week. She was nominated by colleagues, neighbors, and friends, many of whom cheered from the lawn as she accepted the award in front of the main stage.

Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce President Jackie Link (left) and Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels (right) present the Citizen of the Year Award to Mary Ochsenschlager. (CREDIT: Julie Walker, Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce)

Ochsenschlager and her husband, Irv, moved to Sugar Grove more than 43 years ago. They are loving parents to four children, Katherine, Andrew, Anna and Hugh, and proud grandparents to John, Michael, Elizabeth and Ed.

A well-known naturalist, Ochsenschlager is respected throughout the village for her commitment to promoting farm land and conservation, organizing cleanup efforts at Bliss Woods, supporting local Farmers Markets, volunteering and helping at Between Friends Food Pantry of Sugar Grove.

The Kane County Chronicle published an interview with Ochsenschlager on May 10, 2016, in which Ochsenschlager spoke of her love of nature.

“I’ve got to work for the environment,” she said. “It’s in my gut.”

She enjoys sharing her passion for nature with others and her passion developed into a career when she joined the St. Charles Park District and became its first naturalist and youth nature program director. She also joined the Kane County Plan Commission in the 1980s, where she spent the next 20 years working to reduce the negative impact of development on the environment.

Ochsenschlager retired nine years ago, and her activities and organization affiliations include monitor for Kane County Forest Preserve of Bliss Woods, Audubon Society, Sierra Club and the Conservation Foundation. She is a member of numerous book clubs, an avid jogger and traveler.

Comments regarding Ochsenschlager’s nomination were numerous and sincere.

  • “Even though she has officially retired from public service, she is busier than ever working to create a healthier environment for us all.”
  • “Wise, hard-working, passionate and tireless.”
  • “Mary has influenced people through her wisdom, passion and enthusiasm.”
  • “Mary has dedicated her life to nature, the environment, and the Sugar Grove community.”

Established in 1998 by the village of Sugar Grove and the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry as an annual recognition program, Citizen of the Year is intended to recognize, from among the nominations, the selected individual or group, which this year best exemplifies that pioneering spirit which helps the village grow and prosper.

Local supporters and contributors to the Citizen of the Year include the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Sugar Grove Farmers Market, Sugar Grove Public Library, Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, Dan and Pat Graceffa and Village of Sugar Grove.

Previous Sugar Grove Citizens of The Year

  • 2017 Al Markus
  • 2016 Ruth Frantz
  • 2015 Bob Bohler
  • 2014 Wayne Parson
  • 2013 Joe Didier
  • 2012 Helen Jorgensen
  • 2011 Lil Adams
  • 2010 Beverly Holmes Hughes
  • 2009 Jim Wilhelm
  • 2008 Karen McCannon
  • 2007 Joe Wolf
  • 2006 Pat Graceffa
  • 2005 Karen Pritchard
  • 2004 Arnie and Byrel Liefheit
  • 2003 David Seraphin
  • 2002 Kevin Tindall
  • 2001 Delmar and Ruth Krieghbaum
  • 2000 Stan Anderson
  • 1999 Chris Dayvolt
  • 1998 Terry Siebert

Sugar Grove Chamber Scholarship Winners Announced

Also as a part of the July 27 Sugar Grove Corn Boil opening ceremony, Chamber President Jackie Link announced the awarding of the 2018 Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry scholarships.

Bridget McCracken and Brennan Hare each received a $500 scholarship for a graduating female and male high school senior.

This fall, Bridget will attend Illinois State University, and Brennan will attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

he recipients were selected because of their understanding of the vital importance of community service as well as statements on their High School academic status, extra-curricular activities, and community service or community involvement. The Sugar Grove Chamber offers these scholarships in an effort to recognize and support home grown potential.

  • FEATURE PHOTO CAPTION: Mary Ochsenschlager, surrounded by family members and friends, poses with the plaque commemorating her selection as 2018 Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year.  (CREDIT: Photo by Julie Walker, courtesy of the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce)

SOURCE: Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry news release