SVT Presents Conservation Awards During 2020 Annual Meeting

More than 100 SVT members and guests attended our 67th Annual Meeting, which we held as a Zoom webinar on the evening of September 24, 2020. (Watch the recording.)

The highlight of the one-hour meeting was the presentation of our Annual Awards, which honor outstanding conservationists in our region.

Joan Pinkul of Wayland was selected as the Morgan Volunteer of the Year. This award was established in recognition of the commitment that our co-founder Allen Morgan and his wife, Alice, made to Sudbury Valley Trustees. It recognizes dedicated SVT members who, like the Morgans, have given freely and unselfishly of their time, talents, and resources in support of SVT's work.

Joan, who has been volunteering at SVT for more than 7 years, was honored for her dedication as an office volunteer and as a member of our Benefit Committee. As a weekly volunteer in our office, she willingly helps out on any project, including assisting with mailings, organizing files, and preparing materials for outreach events. For the past two years, Joan has also been integral to the planning of our Annual Benefit Gala and has provided essential assistance during the event itself. 

Next, Joe Tyrrell of Sudbury was named the 2020 Steward of the Land, an award that honors a volunteer land steward who exemplifies the respect for open space and dedication to ecological management that is key to SVT’s success.

Joe started volunteering with our stewardship staff in 2013, helping out at property visits, with baseline documentation reports, and in field cleanups. In spring 2015, he took on a task that, although unpleasant, he continues to execute faithfully every week: At Gray Reservation in Sudbury, Joe manages the Dog Waste station, disposing of the full waste bags and refilling the station with fresh bags. The task must seem like a thankless job at times, so with this award we are publicly saying, "Thank you, Joe."

Stuart Saginor received the Lewis Conservation Award for his work as Executive Director of the Community Preservation Coalition. Named in honor of SVT co-founder George Lewis, this award recognizes those who demonstrate a broad commitment to conservation in the SVT region and who encourage others to take action to protect the environment.

Since becoming Executive Director of the Coalition in 2006, Stuart has helped almost 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts adopt the Community Preservation Act. He also led the effort to increase state funding for the CPA program by 150%, and he has provided technical assistance that has helped CPA communities protect over 30,000 acres. He is thoroughly versed in the topic of CPA and is always willing to answer questions and provide guidance to our land protection community. We honor him for his deep commitment to conservation.

The recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Public Service Award is Delia Kaye, the Natural Resources Director for the Town of Concord. The Board of Directors established this award to recognize a public servant who has demonstrated exceptional leadership on environmental issues at the local, state, or national level.

Delia, who has an extensive background in wildlife biology and conservation, has held her current position for the past 14 years, and she has also served on the Steering Committee for the SuAsCo CISMA (Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area). In Concord, Delia has promoted native pollinator plantings and a greater understanding of wildlife habitat within the town. Her service stands out in her professionalism, her initiative, and in her willingness to take on controversial issues, such as the need to leash dogs on conservation lands. All in all, Delia exemplifies the spirit of public service!

Finally, we presented a Life Membership to Susan Litowitz, for her extraordinary contributions to SVT. Susan has been a lifelong champion of conservation, and since joining SVT in 2004, she has been a passionate supporter of our work. Thank you, Susan.

We thank all of the award recipients for their contributions to regional conservation.