Honors to Myra Ferguson and Rick Roesch; Thanks to all UVLT members

AnnMtg Blogpost callout3Over 100 people gathered for UVLT’s Conservation Celebration and Annual Membership Meeting, June 3rd at our Lyme Hill Conservation Area. We enjoyed walks and hikes and great fellowship… and  a chicken barbecue prepared by the Lyme Pinnacle Snowmobile Club, a report on UVLT’s fiscal year 2014 activities and election of Trustees for the coming year. We thank all who contributed to UVLT’s special evening, and all who have supported our conservation achievements this year.

Rick Roesch received the Ashley Advocate award, established in honor of Jim Ashley who was a conservation easement donor, a Trustee of the Upper Valley Land Trust for many years, and a champion of UVLT’s work in every way. Jim Ashley was a marvelous host who brought people together to solve problems, to celebrate, to be very generous, to make things happen.  In accepting the 2014 award, Rick Roesch noted that it was Jim Ashley who originally introduced him to UVLT.

Like Jim, Rick has been an advocate, supporter, Trustee, and advisor throughout his long relationship with UVLT.  Rick’s community service includes stints on the Boards of the Hopkins Center and the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College and the American Precision Museum. He recently retired as vice-chair of the Board of Ledyard Bank. Rick has introduced us to new friends, and presently serves on the Nominating Committee bringing experience and dedication to strengthening our Board of Trustees.  He has helped us forge closer ties to AVA and the arts community, to Dartmouth College, the Cardigan Mountain School and to Lake Associations. You can find him at Canaan’s Old Home Day, distributing UVLT materials. In all of these roles, Rick’s gracious warmth and sincerity shine – a true ambassador.

Myra Ferguson received the 2014 Patchen Miller Award. The award annually recognizes a person who shares the spirit that we found so remarkable in Patchen Miller, a local naturalist who was killed in 1995 at age 26. Like Patchen, Myra Ferguson has a boundless and joyful sense of curiosity and wonder in the natural world, which she shares with all around her.  She is an active steward of a 310 acre Tree Farm that she and her husband, Allan, own in Plainfield NH. Here she spends hours at a time observing and restoring habitat. Myra is also a long time educator. Before she retired, she worked as a special educator and prior to that she was the director of a preschool for children of low income parents. Since moving to the Upper Valley, Myra has volunteered hundreds of hours, serving in many different capacities, for the Plainfield School Board.  She has taken multiple workshops through the University of NH Cooperative Extension Coverts program for wildlife, and has shared her sense of wonder for the outdoors as a volunteer for the Montshire Museum, helping children connect to science. Recently, Myra volunteered on behalf of UVLT for a program run by Inspiring Kids, a local non-profit dedicated to teaching middle school students about nonprofits and their importance in the community. While teaching about land conservation and the importance of good forest stewardship she helped to instill in these students a similar passion for land and conservation. It is the combined passions for childhood education and the outdoors, and education “in” the outdoors, that made Myra the perfect recipient for the 2014 Patchen Miller Award.

Karen Douville, the 2013 Patchen Miller Award winner passed to Myra a handmade drum, created by Eric Frost, friend of Patchen and son of Ehrhard Frost.  Eric crafted the drum at a summer camp where Patchen was a counselor.  Eric, too, died much too early as a young adult. Ehrhard, recipient of the Patchen Miller award in 2011 felt it would be fitting that the drum be passed from recipient to recipient as a way of carrying a part of Patchen forward.

UVLT members elected John Archer to a three year term as Trustee. Johnhas taught high school history, served parishes in New Jersey, Michigan and California as an ordained Episcopal priest, and lectured in church history, preaching and liturgics. John became involved early on in the digital media publishing industry, managing his own editorial services company, and working at McGraw-Hill, Prentice Hall, and the Boston-based Pearson Education Central Media where he retired as Managing Director in 2012. While in Boston, he served as a non-stipendiary priest on the staff of Church of the Advent, Boston. John and his spouse, Susan Abel, moved to Enfield in November 2011, when Susan took a position as an editor for University Press of New England in Lebanon. John is currently Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the Enfield Shaker museum. He also sings with the Handel Society at Dartmouth, and is a visiting mentor and sometime editor at the Wingspan Foundation, based in Warrenton, Virginia. Since moving to the Upper Valley, John has served as a UVLT volunteer in collecting documentation relating to land conservation projects, and has recently participated in stewardship training and in monitoring of parcels of Upper Valley land that are currently under conservation easement.