Directors’ Award

One or more Directors’ Awards have been made each year since 2001:

2023 Three Directors’ Awards were given in 2023:

Luis Perez Demorizi, Newton’s Director of Parks and Open Space, for his effectiveness in making tangible improvements to Newton’s parks and open spaces. He was recognized for his skilled management of construction projects, for his assistance with the Conservators’ monitoring of conservation restrictions, and for helping the community reimagine how open space can function better for the public.

Ruth Balser, State Representative, for her continuing advocacy for open space and support of the mission of Newton Conservators.  Her persistent co-sponsorship over more than two decades led to ultimate success in the Massachusetts Public Lands Preservation Act (PLPA), signed into law in 2022.  The PLPA mandates no net loss of publicly-owned parklands without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.

Philip Saunders, Jr., (posthumously) For more than twenty-five years, in concert with Representative Balser, he enthusiastically advocated for the PLPA codifying the state’s “No Net Loss” policy for public lands. He educated and organized open-space activists in many communities, using his “Cliff’s Notes” about the law.

2022 Claire Rundelli: As Newton’s Assistant Environmental Planner, Claire diligently supported the work of the Conservation Commission, administered the volunteer Stewards Program for our conservation areas, and helped prepare Newton’s Open Space and Recreation Plan. She also shepherded Conservation Restrictions through the government process and supported the Newton Conservators’ CR monitoring and invasive removal efforts.

2020 – 2021 Bob DeRubeis, the recently retired Newton Parks, Recreation and Culture Commissioner, worked for Newton for 32 years. The Conservators recognized DeRubeis, “In gratitude for his many decades of stewardship to our Garden City parkland in his leadership roles with the Newton Parks and Recreation Department.”

2020 – 2021 Alice Ingerson: As Community Preservation Committee Program Manager, Ingerson notably oversaw the proposed use of CPA funds to assist in the acquisition of Webster Woods. The Award comes “In gratitude for her role in shepherding so many of our open space-related Community Preservation Act projects through the government process.”

2020 – 2021 Ouida Young: As City Solicitor, Young served on the Webster Woods Advisory Panel for Newton’s most significant open space acquisition in a decade. The Conservators acknowledged her “In gratitude for her role in clearing the legal hurdles for open space projects over decades as Solicitor in the Newton Law Department.”

2019 Maria Rose for her work as Newton’s Environmental Engineer to improve the City’s drainage infrastructure to manage storm water. For her dedication to improving the water quality of Newton’s rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams.

2019 Friends of Kennard Park (Carolyn Kraft, Larry Burdick, Michelle Cusick, Dorothea Buckler, and Pam Ward) for their stewardship and work on projects to improve Kennard Park. For their tireless work educating citizens about the value of open space and bringing delight into our lives.

2018 Anndy Dannenberg for coaching the Envirothon Team and for showing students at Newton North the importance of the environment.

2018 Mita Bhattacharya for commitment to teaching students at Newton South about the environment and the negative impact of invasive species

2017 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.

2017 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.

2016 Leigh Gilligan for contributing her time and legal expertise to create the Waban Hill Reservoir conservation restriction and for her helpful guidance throughout the acquisition process.

2015 Greg Maslowe, manager of the Newton Community Farm, for expanding our view of what it means to be a suburban farmer, and sharing his knowledge of the sustainable use of a small plot of land (and the farm’s delicious crops) with the Newton community

2014 Andree and Richard Wilson for cultivation and protection of a place of great beauty in Newton, for their many years of welcoming others to enjoy their land, and for protecting it for the
benefit of future generations

2014 Burton “Bud” Elliott (in memoriam) for advocating for open space in many ways including leading the Conservators, representing the Conservators on the Mayor’s Framework Planning Committee, and inspiring many current members

2013 Norman A. Richardson for his decades of exemplary service on the Newton Conservation Commission

2012 Eric Reenstierna for his commitment to open space protection in Newton. His skills were crucial to the success of the Dolan Pond-76 Webster Park project, Kesseler Woods, and Angino Farm.

2011 Frank and Deborah Howard for their lifetime of service to the Conservators, to conservation, and to Newton

2010 Patricia Rand and Penelope Caponigro for their care of Newton’s public spaces: the Newton Center Garden, the traffic island on Lake Avenue, the Arthur English garden in Newton Highland, the planters along Lincoln Street in Newton Highlands, the gardens in front of city hall and the Newton Free Library

2009 Alderman Lisle Baker for his long-time work on behalf of open space interests, most recently involving a conservation restriction for the Commonwealth Golf Course, to protect it as open space in perpetuity

2009 Carol Stapleton, Recreation Manager, City of Newton, for her enthusiastic support of Newton’s recreation opportunities and her dedication to the citizens of Newton, especially the children swimming at Crystal Lake

2009 Sue Avery, head of the Conservators’ Land Management Committee, for her leadership of a group that created detailed records of species present in Newton’s major open spaces

2008 Anne Pearson for her interest in the environment, her knowledge of environmental activities, her work on the Grants Committee, and her tireless efforts in maintaining our membership lists

2008 Marc Welch for his work on numerous levels that has kept Newton as green as possible with a careful selection of trees and overall maintenance of flora in general

2007 Katherine Howard for her work to preserve and protect trees in Newton and her essential work as Treasurer of the Conservators

2007 Martha Horn for her continual input and activity to maintain open space in Newton as a remarkable civil servant and active conservationist

2006 Jim Broderick for his work to establish the Ordway Park Endowment Fund and his many years devoted to overseeing and maintaining Ordway Park

2006 Tony and Pam Awtrey for the generous gift of property in a dell through which Hyde Brook flows in Newton Corner

2005 Bill Shaevel for participation as “Legal Counsel to the Newton Conservators” including legal work on the recent acquisition of 76 Webster Park at Dolan Pond

2005 Joan and David Rosenberg for the work on the renewal of Ordway Park

2004 “Walking Trails” Map Guide Team: Lucy Caldwell-Stair, Judy Hepburn and Pat Robinson for creating a guide to Newton’s open spaces

2004 Maxine Rosenberg, retiring science coordinator for the Newton Public Schools, for her years of dedicated service to the environmental education of school children

2004 Lucille Riddle, retired animal control officer, for 25 years of service and devotion to her work with animals.

2003 Chestnut Hill Garden Club for their stewardship of the Houghton Garden

2002 Alex and Ginny Wilmerding for the gift of a conservation restriction on land adjacent to Webster Conservation Area

2002 CHP Trust for the gift of a conservation restriction along the shore of Hammond Pond

2001 Richard Staley for his many years on the Conservation Commission, in recent years as chair

2001 Alderman Lisle Baker for his work in negotiating conservation restrictions on properties along the eastern shore of Hammond Pond

2001 Alderman Richard McGrath, posthumously, for work leading to the removal of Rumford Avenue incinerator, capping the landfill, and reclaiming the land as part of the Flowed Meadow Conservation Area


Other annual awards