first_imgTwenty-one Vermonters and Vermont organizations have been nominated for the 2012 CVPS-Zetterstrom Environmental Award, which will be presented later this spring. ‘The third-annual award drew nominees from across Vermont, ranging from individuals who orchestrated environmental projects to well-known Vermont organizations on the front lines of resource protection,’ CVPS President and CEO Larry Reilly said.  ‘The depth and breadth of the work of this year’s nominees indicates a deep commitment to Vermont’s natural resources, including habitat, wildlife and enjoyment of Vermont’s natural resources,’ said CVPS spokesman Steve Costello, who worked with the award’s namesake, Meeri Zetterstrom, to assist once-endangered ospreys.  ‘I see a bit of Meeri in many of the nominees.’ The award, first presented in 2010, was named for Zetterstrom to honor her work to promote ospreys’ return from the brink of extinction in Vermont, and to recognize others who follow her example.  Zetterstrom inspired CVPS and the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife to collaborate to help ospreys, an effort that culminated with their removal from the endangered species list in 2005. ‘Meeri was the epitome of determination, and worked tirelessly to educate Vermonters about the birds, advocate for their recovery, and instill a love of nature in children,’ Costello said.  ‘She devoted the last two decades of her life to ospreys, often studying them for 16 to 18 hours a day.  Many of this year’s nominees have demonstrated similar focus and persistence in their work and volunteerism.’ The nominees include:Audubon Vermont, which improves habitat for declining bird species, coordinates statewide bird population monitoring, assessments and management, and educates Vermonters on birds and habitat conservation;Marshal Case of Shaftsbury, who chartered four non-profit conservation groups across Vermont, and volunteers on numerous public service, environmental and educational efforts;Larry Clarfeld – North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier, which runs a statewide Amphibian Monitoring Program that trains volunteers to help amphibians cross roads during spring migration;Common Ground Center in Starksboro, a nonprofit educational retreat focused on the arts, healing and nature, which uses cutting edge building and energy technology in construction and education;John Derick of Cornwall, who co-founded and for 20 years has maintained the Trail Around Middlebury;Ducks Unlimited – Vermont Chapter, which has helped conserve over 3,500 acres of important wildlife habitat that serves more than 900 species of birds, fish, mammals and other creatures;James Ehlers of Colchester, executive director of Lake Champlain International and longtime lake and river advocate;Four Winds Nature Institute in Chittenden, whose natural science workshops for 1,600 adult volunteers help educate more than 17,000 Vermont students annually;Margaret Fowle of Huntington, who over a quarter-decade has played an essential role in the recovery of Vermont’s once-endangered peregrine falcons;George D. Aiken Wildflower Trail Committee in Bennington, which is working to preserve wildflower plants the former governor propagated and documented;Landmark Trust USA of Dummerston, which has rescued three significant, deteriorating properties now managed to restore habitat and ensure sustainable forestry, wildlife enhancement and water quality;Marty Illick of Charlotte, executive director of the Lewis Creek Association and longtime conservationist and educator;Brian Lowe of Randolph Center, who maintains dozens of nest boxes to expand kestrel breeding in central Vermont, where more than 70 chicks have hatched annually over the past 15 years;Malletts Bay School ‘Ospreys’ Student Recycling Committee, which developed a comprehensive recycling program to significantly reduce food, plastic and paper waste at the 430-student school;Oil N’ Go of South Burlington, which recycles 100 percent of the used oil it collects, and attempts to operate its business without paperless;Patti Smith of Marlboro, who works to improve and protect southern Vermont biodiversity and writes a monthly Brattleboro Reformer wildlife and environment column;Kelly Stettner of Springfield, who founded the Black River Action Team, which celebrates, cleans up and protects the Black River in southeastern Vermont;Vermont Center for Ecostudies in Norwich, an independent non-profit that advances wildlife conservation through research, monitoring and public engagement;Students of Middlebury’s Hannaford Career Center’s Diversified Occupations Program, who are building and locating nest sites for the common barn owl, which is extremely rare in Vermont;Stephen Syz, founder, board member and fundraiser for the Vermont River Conservancy, which has protected 50 Vermont river sites and ensured public access in perpetuity;Kurt Valenta of Franklin, an environmental educator who works in schools and libraries to teach children and adults about the outdoor world. Sally Laughlin, a leading wildlife advocate and scientist whose work was instrumental in restoring three species of endangered birds in Vermont, was presented the first CVPS-Zetterstrom Environmental Award in 2010.  Michael Smith, who turned an overgrown forest largely left to transients into an environmental oasis with miles of trails in the city of Rutland, received the award in 2011. The 2012 winner will be chosen by a panel of CVPS employees with responsibilities related to land management, resource protection, community relations and education, and environmental compliance.  The award, which will be presented in April, comes with a cash prize of $2,500 to benefit the winner’s ongoing environmental work.CVPS 3.19.2012last_img

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