Home > News > Blog > Amy Blaymore Paterson > A Tribute to Margaret Miner: Reflecting on Her Legacy


Candid photo of ABP and Margaret Miner talking at a conference

Since receiving the sad news of Margaret Miner’s passing earlier this month, I have thought a lot about her. I have been looking through my documents (her fingerprints are everywhere) and photographs that captured our relationship. As a tribute to my dear colleague and friend, I thought I’d share some thoughts about what I found.

Candid photo of ABP and Margaret Miner talking at a conference

This candid photograph of Margaret and me from the 2014 Connecticut Land Conservation Conference is my favorite.

I remember that moment in the Wesleyan cafeteria, amidst a crowd of enthusiastic conservationists, Marg pulled me aside to share her strong thoughts on how we can better protect state conservation lands—an issue she passionately and relentlessly championed throughout her career.

Two years before, after looking through deeds and seeing no legal restrictions to safeguard our treasured state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas, Margaret (then with Rivers Alliance of CT), Eric Hammerling (then with CFPA), and I—along with Martin Mador (Sierra Club-CT) and Sandy Breslin (Audubon CT), two other environmental champions who have since passed away—formed an ad hoc “State Lands Working Group.” My files are filled with research supporting our mission to identify and implement strategies to better protect public lands at risk of being transferred with minimal public input.

Margaret’s leadership was instrumental in these efforts and set the foundation for a successful campaign years later, led by Eric and a statewide network of advocates, to pass a constitutional amendment to implement a more transparent and accountable land conveyance process.

ABP and the 2018 Award winners: Eric Hammerling, Amanda Branson, and Margaret Minder, along with Catherine Rawson

In 2018, CLCC awarded Margaret our Lifetime Achievement Award, highlighting her extensive contributions to land conservation. As noted then, Margaret always emphasized, “There is no better protection for the state’s waters than natural open space adjacent to and around a water body.”

Reflecting on my 14-year journey as CLCC’s Executive Director, I am reminded of how fortunate I was to have Margaret as a mentor and friend. Here is what I wrote in 2015 in support of Margaret’s nomination for the inaugural Pomperaug River Watershed Association Marc Taylor Stewardship Award:

When I began lobbying on behalf of Connecticut’s land conservation community five years ago, I quickly learned that I could count on Margaret if I needed support, guidance, and insight, not to mention a good dose of humor, as I maneuvered my way around the Capitol. Margaret’s reputation as the go-to advocate for “all things water” precedes her, but it’s her tireless and persistent advocacy to protect state conservation lands from being swapped, given away, or sold that has meant the most to me. I feel incredibly fortunate to have Margaret by my side as an advocate and a friend. 

Those words ring true today.

Margaret’s legacy will continue to inspire and guide me and all of us at CLCC as we carry forward her mission to protect and preserve our natural environment. We are profoundly grateful for her contributions and will miss her dearly.

Read more reflections about Margaret’s extraordinary life here »

Amy Blaymore Paterson
Executive Director
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