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Photo: Margot Burns

Melvin Woody Lower Connecticut River Conservation Award

As the most ardent supporter of the Land Trust Exchange (LTE) since its inception and the guiding voice to the transformation and growth of the LCRLT from a conservation tool of the Lower Connecticut River Gateway Conservation Zone to a broader geography that encompasses the 17 communities of the RiverCOG region the annual award is named in Melvin Woody’s honor. Melvin has been a member of the Connecticut River Gateway Commission since 1973 and served as its Chair for many years. The Commission is responsible for protecting over 1,ooo acres within the Gateway Conservation Zone and supported many environmental studies and restoration projects.

2022 Recipient | John Hall 
Executive Director and Volunteers of the Jonah
Center for Earth and Art

John's commitment to the continued management of the invasive water chestnut (Trapa natans) in the Connecticut River and her wetlands. We would like to recognize John’s, and the Centers volunteers’ efforts in the fight to combat invasive aquatic species in the floating meadows wetland located between Middletown and Cromwell but in particular for his effort to coordinate needed volunteer efforts in the 2022 collection of water chestnut from the main stem, coves and tributaries of the River following the devastating release of the very invasive plant from a retention pond in Hartford in 2021. His coordination of many volunteers over the summer has contributed greatly to saving the lower Connecticut River from being overwhelmed by this most invasive aquatic plant.


We are inspired by John’s broad conservation commitment to our region. As the Center’s website declares, “The Jonah Center for Earth and Art inspires and organizes the wider “environmental community” in the greater Middletown, Connecticut area to improve the quality of life for all residents – human and non-human.”


We would like to whole heartedly thank John and all the volunteers of the Jonah Center for their commitment to improving the lives of both the citizens and the wildlife of the lower Connecticut River region through their conservation efforts and in particular their efforts regarding elimination of water chestnut from the Connecticut River and her estuary.

2021 Recipient | Janet Stone 

A member of the Board of Directors for more than 30 years, Janet is a Research Geologist Emerita with the U.S. Geological Survey, where she specializes in compiling geologic maps of glacial sediments in southern New England, especially in Connecticut and Massachusetts. She is the first author of the Quaternary Geologic Map of Connecticut and Long Island Sound Basin, among many other geologic publications. In the process of producing numerous geologic maps, Janet has become proficient in GIS mapping techniques and now uses these tools to produce accurately located property boundary maps and trail maps for the Land Trust. Janet was also a member of the Deep River Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commission for many years. She has a deep commitment to the protection of the Earth’s natural environment and preserving the special landscapes of the lower Connecticut River valley. She has lived on Huckleberry Drive in Deep River for 32 years.

Janet Stone : Rock On - Article by Rita Christopher,

2020 Recipient | Marilyn Gleeson

LCRLT board member and past President and current Secretary of the East Haddam Land Trust, for her volunteer service not only to the LCRLT, but for the years she has spent as a representative to the Lower Connecticut River and Coastal Region Land Trust Exchange (LTE). Marilyn’s work with the East Haddam Land Trust led to the creation of the Lower Connecticut River Land Trust Potential Preserve/Easement Evaluation Template Form, the first formal project of the LCRLT for our member land trusts. The form will not only help our land trusts plan for conservation acquisitions but will be one of many documents and planning efforts should a land trust wish to work through the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation process.

Marilyn is also responsible for learning how to map and become proficient with Geographic Information Systems software in order to map all of the East Haddam Land Trusts trails and creating beautiful maps for public use. She is the current Chair of the East Haddam Conservation Commission and has created many maps for town conservation projects and conservation articles for the local paper.

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