Fluvanna Faces : Ida Swenson

By Page H. Gifford

How long have you lived at the Lake?

My husband, John, and I have lived at the lake since Thanksgiving of 2003.  And we have been very happy here. I like to tell folks I am happy to be in a community that has all ages. I can always find someone to play with.

Tell us about yourself?

John and I lived in upstate New York for 30 years before we moved here after retirement to be near family. I was born and raised in the Midwest and have lived in seven states. I am a proud graduate of Ohio State University and have been a science educator for over fifty years.

How long have you been married and how many children? Grandchildren?

John and I just celebrated 50 years. We have a son, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and three grandsons living in Greensboro, NC.  The boys are the apple of our eyes.  We stopped to see them last month, and they couldn’t wait to show me the rare salamander they found in the back year.  They love the woods like I do.

You have served on the LMOA Board of Directors, spearheaded the citizens group on the Aqua Virginia rate hikes, what else have you done?

I was chair of the Stormwater Management Committee for six years, was on the Lake Preservation Committee, and also briefly on the current Watershed Management Committee.  I was instrumental in getting the grant for stream restoration along hole 12 as well as for education. Our ad hoc group wrote a number of publications for preserving the lake water quality. I am the secretary of the Cooperative Extension Leadership Council. I volunteer for my church, and am a 4H leader, currently without a club.   According to my husband, I’m a full-time volunteer.   Much of my volunteering has been through the Virginia Master Naturalists, and I am a founding member of our local chapter.  Recently I achieved 1,000 hours of volunteer work through them.  I also participated in the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society Spirit Walk for a number of years. I am a ham at heart.

Have you always been civic minded and why?

I served on the school board in our former community. I also served as an officer for several organizations in college, but I haven’t considered those activities as my life’ calling. They are things that needed to be done, and I was willing to do them.
You are a certified Master Naturalist? Would you say nature and the
environment are your passion?

I really, really love nature, but my real passion is teaching. Whether is it leading a hike, visiting a school classroom, working with 4H, teaching Sunday School, or giving a workshop at the Scheier Natural Area, I love the students and the teaching. I have stipulated that my body go to the University of Virginia medical school so I can give one last lesson to the medical students.

What do you think about the lake working toward a National Wildlife
Federation certification?

Jim Prucnal and I explored that at one point, but we were shut down by LMOA at that time, so this is something I have long wished for.

If you had one wish, what would it be?

I would wish for everyone to know my Jesus for the loving savior He is.

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