Andy is Director of Conservation Programs for The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts, where he defines conservation goals, assesses threats, and implements conservation strategies. He recently led a partnership project with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage program to develop BioMap2, a conservation blueprint for the state of Massachusetts that identifies resilient habitats in the face of a changing climate.
Andy described a vision to conserve a resilient landscape across eastern North America, and closer to home. This resilient landscape will sustain our native plants and animals in a changing climate, and will support our own well-being. Andy demonstrated the concepts and data supporting this vision, discussed their applications to conservation decisions, and gave some examples, including here in Newton.
Environmentalists of the Year: 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.
Conservators Director Michael Clarke presented these awards:
What began in 1853 as the Charles River Branch Railroad, then in the 1980’s became the Bay Colony Railroad, and was then owned by the MBTA is now the Upper Falls Greenway, with hopes of soon connecting to the Charles River Pathway and eventually to the Bay Colony Rail Trail across the Charles River to Needham and beyond. Accomplishing this is the result of outstanding grit, determination, and political astuteness arising from the Newton Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force, but in particular is due to Jim Lerner, Jerry Reilly, and George Kirby.
This was the 35th Environmentalist of the Year Award presented by the Newton Conservators to an individual or group who has made a distinguished environmental contribution to our community.
Charles Johnson Maynard Award: Carol Schein
For her support and assistance to groups that also are working toward these goals, such as the Newton Conservators
The Charles Johnson Maynard Award is given each year to recognize efforts “to improve biodiversity, habitat reclamation, and natural resource protection.” Charles Johnson Maynard was a naturalist and ornithologist who was born in Newton in 1845.
Conservators Director Chris Hepburn presented this award:
This evening, I am honored to present the Newton Conservators Charles Johnson Maynard award to Carol Schein. This award is given to recognize efforts to “improve biodiversity, habitat reclamation, and natural resource protection.” Charles Johnson Maynard was a well-known naturalist, ornithologist, taxidermist, author and publisher who was born and lived in Newton from 1845 until his death in 1929, his 172nd birthday would have been next Saturday. Among his other accomplishments he named 15 subspecies of birds, wrote and illustrated books and articles on birds, butterflies, mammals and reptiles, and noted as early as 1878 the “modifications of breeding habitats of birds caused by persecutions of man.”
Landscape designer Carol Schein has been Newton’s Open Space Coordinator since 2004. In that role, she has helped the city and its residents understand the needs to preserve or revitalize many places in our city, including Newton Centre Playground, Nahanton Park, the Crystal Lake Bath House area, the old home of the Parks and Recreation Dept. on Centre Street, Waban Reservoir, and many more. She also is the manager of the city’s adopt-a-space program and the memorial donations program. In many of these projects, she has collaborated with the Newton Conservators or other environmental groups such as the Friends of Nahanton Park and Crystal Lake Conservancy.
Directors’ Awards: Jennifer Steel and Dan Brody
Jennifer Steel: For her work in enhancing public access to Newton’s Conservation Areas through the installation of new trailhead signs and maps and the creation of the Conservation Area Stewards program.
Dan Brody: For his work in enhancing public use of Newton’s Conservation Areas by developing and installing QR codes in Newton’s open spaces and for his creation of the associated pages on the Newton Conservators’ website
Conservators Director David Backer presented these awards:
It’s my privilege to present two Directors’ Awards tonight.
First, to Jennifer Steel, the Senior Environmental Planner for the City, and member of the Newton Conservation Commission.
I know from first-hand experience that Jennifer is smart, thoughtful, thorough, and committed to the environment. The Conservators are pleased to recognize Jennifer for her work in enhancing public access to Newton’s Conservation Areas through the installation of new trailhead signs and maps and the creation of the Conservation Area Stewards program.
Second, to Dan Brody, a member of the Conservators’ Board of Directors. Dan is a steady and long-time contributor to the Board, who has maintained the Conservators’ extensive website, and advised us on many technology issues. The Conservators are pleased to recognize Dan for his work in enhancing public use of Newton’s Conservation Areas by developing and installing QR codes in Newton’s parks and open spaces and for his creation of the associated pages on the Newton Conservators’ website.