top of page


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.

2023 Recipient | Torrance Downes

Torrance dedicated his career to promoting and protecting the beauty, health and significance of the LCRR through his work with CT DEEP, the Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments (RiverCOG) and other affiliations. His efforts have resulted in the preservation of many acres of open space and will continue to do so through plans and regulations that he has helped to develop. Torrance's many roles have directly benefited Old Saybrook.

Torrance has always made himself available to lend his expertise to his community and has been involved in countless efforts to preserve and enhance the natural and historic qualities of not just Old Saybrook but the greater LCRR. As a long-time resident who raised his family in Old Saybrook, Torrance and the Downes crew have volunteered in many community service projects. We are grateful for his many contributions.

bottom of page