Amy Blaymore Paterson
Executive Director, Connecticut Land Conservation Council
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Governor, Lt. Governor, and Other State and Local Officials Join CT Land Conservation Council in Celebrating 2021 Excellence in Conservation Awards
East Haddam Land Trust, Greenwich Land Trust and Gwen Marrion recognized for their outstanding achievements in land conservation and community engagement
Middletown, CT (June 30, 2021) — On June 25, the Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) hosted the 2021 Excellence in Conservation Awards Ceremony at the East Haddam Land Trust’s Hidden Valley Farm Preserve in Moodus.
Joined by guest speakers Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Connecticut State Conservationist Thomas Morgart, Senator Norman Needleman (33rd District), and Representative Stephen Meskers (150th District), CLCC recognized and celebrated the substantive contributions to land conservation in the state by the East Haddam Land Trust, the Greenwich Land Trust, and Gwen Marrion of Bolton Land Trust.
The East Haddam Land Trust (EHLT) and the Greenwich Land Trust (GLT) were each honored with the Connecticut Land Conservation Council Excellence in Conservation Organization Award. EHLT in partnership with the East Haddam Historical Society & Museum created a mini documentary series, “Saving Land, Saving History”, to portray conservation successes in East Haddam, tell the story of EHLT, and acknowledge the land conservation work that remains. GLT produced an expansive new greenway for the Greenwich community and region through its acquisition of Converse Brook Preserve, 72-acres of open space essential for the protection of wildlife, water quality, and ecological health.
Gwen Marrion, founding member and President of the all-volunteer Bolton Land Trust (BLT), was honored with CLCC’s Katchen Coley Award for Excellence in Conservation. For more than thirty years, Ms. Marrion has been a powerful voice for conservation and a volunteer community leader in her beloved town of Bolton. Among her many contributions, she has shepherded 16 parcels totaling 307 acres into preservation for BLT and has played a key role in the acquisitions of the 100-acre Rose Farm, the 21-acre Pistritto Property, and the 53-acre Stangeland Woodland.
“The winners of CLCC’s 2021 Excellence in Conservation Awards hail from different parts of the state, but they share a common love for the land, its history, and their respective communities,” said CLCC Executive Director Amy Blaymore Paterson. “Thanks to the excellence reflected in their land conservation efforts, this year’s honorees showcase the important role land trusts play as service organizations in communities throughout the state.”
Commissioner Dykes opened up the event, congratulating the honorees and acknowledging the importance of land trusts in the state’s efforts to meet its conservation goals and provide the public with access to parks, preserves, and other green spaces.
She said, “As we celebrate these incredible champions, the East Haddam Land Trust, the Greenwich Land Trust, and Gwen Marrion, . . . my challenge to everyone is to think about who else you can enlist. That’s how we continue to build on the strength of our commitment and our values here in Connecticut of protecting these special places.”
NRCS State Conservationist Morgart emphasized the important role that land trusts play in addressing environmental crises facing the state and country, stating, “There is a biodiversity problem, there is a water quality problem in this country, and the only way we are going to get to solutions is to preserve more land in a more natural state.”
Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz praised the honorees and underscored the importance of land conservation to communities across the state.
“We are one of the densest states in the country and shame on us if we don’t do everything we can to preserve open space, and frankly, that is one of the reasons a lot of us are here. We love the fact that we have access to green [spaces]…We know what that means in terms of the environment. It’s the lungs for our state,” said the Governor.
Lt. Governor Bysiewicz praised the work of land trusts, stating, “We are so blessed in Connecticut to have groups like you working really hard to preserve the beautiful character of our state.”
“I love what the land trusts do,” added Governor Lamont, “it is one of the most important investments we can make.”
The Connecticut Land Conservation Council extends a big thanks to the East Haddam Land Trust for hosting the event and to all who participated in this wonderful annual celebration.
More information about the 2021 Excellence in Conservation Award honorees is available on CLCC’s website at https://ctconservation.org/awards/awards-2021/
As the umbrella organization for the state’s land conservation community, including its 130+ land trusts, the Connecticut Land Conservation Council advocates for land conservation, stewardship, and funding, and works to ensure the long-term strength and viability of the land conservation community in Connecticut. Learn more at www.ctconservation.org, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
CLCC Press Kit: https://ctconservation.org/pressroom/