Environmentalist of the Year
At the annual dinner each year, the Newton Conservators gives the Environmentalist of the Year Award to the individual who has made the greatest contribution to the protection of Newton's environment. These award recipients, from the first award in 1981 to the present:
2017 Jim Lerner, Jerry Reilly, and George Kirby--For their creativity and persistence in transforming an unused rail bed from an eyesore into the Upper Falls Greenway, a green path to be enjoyed by the community.
2016 The Woodcock Meadow Team--For their work to reclaim the open space of Woodcock Meadow at Nahanton Park for the annual flights of the American Woodcock
2015 Alison Leary--For her years as a dedicated educator and advocate for environmental issues and for her successful leadership of the 2015 campaign to ban thin plastic bags in Newton.
2014 two awards:
Peter Kastner--For his more than thirty years of viligance, tireless service, and advocacy protecting Newton's environment, leading the Conservators, and representing us on the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Walter Bernheimer--For being one of the strongest advocates of open space on the Parks and Recreation Commision, and saving natural areas in Newton from development.
2013 Jane E. Sender--For four years as Conservators’ President and her work
on the Conservation Commission
2012 Charles River Watershed Association--Executive Director Bob Zimmerman and Deputy Executive Director
and General Counsel Margaret Van Deusen--who have brought CRWA to the national forefront of urban river restoration.
2011 Newton Conservators Trail Guide Committee--Lucy Caldwell-Stair, Patricia Robinson, Judy Hepburn, and Dan Brody--for their hard work creating the revised edition of Newton Conservators guidebook, Walking Trails in Newton's Park & Conservation Lands.
2010 Newton Conservators Almanac Committee--Sue J. Avery, Dr. Modestino “Cris” Criscitiello, Laura Eisener, Don Lubin, Patricia Robinson, and Beth E. Schroeder--for their hard work creating and publishing the beautiful Newton Conservators’ Almanac .
2009 Crystal Lake Conservancy for their advocacy for Crystal Lake.
2008 Ted Kuklinski, Harvey Epstein, and Bill Shaevel for their activities with three major happenings in the City: (1) preservation of additional open space at Dolan Pond, (2) preservation of a historical house, and (3) the first Habitat for Humanity buildings in Newton.
2007 Dan Brody for his vision, skill, and dedication in building and maintaining the Newton Conservators' web site.
Jon Regosin, Duane Hillis and Eric Reenstierna for their
key roles in the acquisition of Angino Farm.
2005 Doug Dickson for his active participation in numerous environmental-based causes including his active work with the Community Preservation Committee and land acquisition.
2004 Mayor David Cohen for his leadership and creativity in the acquisition of Kesseler Woods
2003 Martha Aherin Horn for protecting and enhancing Newton's conservation areas
2002 Jim Broderick and the CPA Alliance for successfully gaining voter approval to fund the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in Newton
2001 Rep. Ruth Balser for leadership in preserving publicly-owned open space across the state, and advancing plans for restoration of Hammond Pond
2000 Marty Sender for advocacy and labor in cleaning up the Lakes District of the Charles River and for work on open space issues throughout the city
1999 Louise Bruyn for her vision in founding and leading the Green Decade Coalition, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary
1998 Dan Driscoll for work in making the Charles River Pathway a reality
1997 Dianne Dumanoski for raising awareness about pesticide risks in her book, "Our Stolen Future"
1996 William Gillitt, Elaine Gentile, and Jean Husher (Commonwealth Avenue Task Force) for a successful design for the renovation of Commonwealth Avenue as a linear park
1995 Sen. Lois Pines for leadership in environmental issues in the Legislature
1994 Bill Leitch and Betsy Leitch for leadership in the restoration of Bullough's Pond
1993 AnnaMaria Abernathy for land use activism, and
Theresa O'Halloran for work on Washington Street Park and a summer boat ride on the Charles River as a model of transportation without cars
1992 Thelma Fleishman for voicing open space values on the Conservation Commission
1991 Leo Levi for beautifying Newton through education, trees, and flower bulbs
1990 Barbara Herson for her work on recycling programs and Earth Day activities, and
Carol Morrison for her long work toward the development of Nahanton Park
1989 Richard Staley for
creating and directing the Environmental Science Program
1988 Anita Capeless for work over many years to ensure sensible land use in Newton
1987 William Geizentanner for his design of the Charles River Pathway
1986 Sarah Barnett, Anne Dinsmore, Sharon Francis, Deborah Howard, Joan Lerner, and Ann Roesner for producing Newton's first Open Space Plan in 1973-74
1985 Rita Barron for conservation work on the Charles River to make it swimmable
1984 Helen Heyn for "unstinting efforts" to acquire and protect Newton's open space legacy
1983 (no award)
1982 Newton Commonwealth Improvement Corporation and Lisle Baker for their work in preserving the Newton Commonwealth Golf Course
1981 Betsy Lewenberg for outstanding work in promoting the Newton recycling program