The Connecticut land conservation community lost a true champion last week with the passing of Diana Atwood Johnson of Old Lyme. Among her many accomplishments, Diana was a fierce land conservation advocate, talented photographer, and dedicated patron of the arts.
For the state’s land conservation community, one of Diana’s greatest contributions may have been her work in support of the Open Space & Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program (OSWA).
In late 2017, Diana stepped down as Chair of the Natural Heritage, Open Space & Watershed Land Acquisition Review Board (Review Board), a position she held for 18 of her 19 years on the board. Diana’s strong and devoted leadership on the Review Board was critical to the development of the OSWA program and the success that the grant program has had in advancing land conservation across the state. Diana was also instrumental in guiding the Review Board in working with DEEP in its drafting of the 2016-2020 Connecticut Comprehensive Open Space Acquisition Strategy (Green Plan).
In addition to her volunteer work on the Review Board, Diana’s conservation service included Chair for Old Lyme’s Open Space Committee, of which she was a member since 1998, a member of the Trust for Public Land state advisory board, 10 years on the Board of the Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and a member of CLCC’s Policy and Advocacy Committee. Read more >>
As a tribute to her years of dedicated service on the Review Board and in support of land conservation efforts throughout the state, CLCC and DEEP re-named our annual OSWA Photo Contest in Diana’s honor. We are grateful that Diana was with us to enjoy this well-deserved recognition. We encourage you to submit photos to the contest as a wonderful way to honor Diana’s legacy.
Diana was a force of nature and did so much for land conservation in CT. She was a trusted colleague, mentor and friend. She will be missed.