Winners of the 2020 Environmental Champion Awards Announced

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Awardees from East Haddam, Middletown, Portland and Roxbury to be Honored on October 8

MIDDLETOWN, CT -- The Rockfall Foundation is pleased to announce five recipients of its 2020 Environmental Champion Awards. East Haddam Land Trust and Margaret Miner of Roxbury have been selected for the Tom ODell Distinguished Service Awards, honoring long-term accomplishments in environmental conservation and preservation. Certificates of Appreciation are being awarded to ARTFARM, Chantal Foster from the Middlesex Land Trust, and Nathan Botting of East Haddam. “There is a tremendous amount of good work being done by dedicated individuals and organizations in the Lower Connecticut River Valley,” says Tony Marino, Executive Director, The Rockfall Foundation. “Our hope is that by bringing the community together to celebrate their successes, we can continue building awareness of our wonderful natural resources and further support a healthy future for all.”

The awardees will be honored at an October 8th Awards & Grants Celebration at 7 p.m. The free, virtual event is open to the public, pre-registration required at This entertaining celebration will feature videos highlighting accomplishments of the Environmental Champions. Recipients of the Foundation’s Annual Environmental Grants Program will also be featured, including videos from Uconn’s AdaptCT program and Valley Shore YMCA’s Farm-to-Table Camp. Cozy up with a bowl of popcorn or your favorite snack and enjoy the show. The ceremony will conclude with a toast to all the award recipients and grantees.

The Tom ODell Distinguished Service Award is being presented to Margaret Miner for her lifetime accomplishments protecting water in Connecticut. She has served as Executive Director of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut and as Executive Director of the Roxbury Land Trust, and is a member of the Connecticut Water Planning Council’s Advisory Group.

East Haddam Land Trust is receiving the Tom ODell Distinguished Service Award for over 40 years of dedication to preserving land for the public benefit. It was one of the first land trusts in the region, has preserved over 700 acres to date, and last year earned the prestigious accreditation from the Land Trust Alliance.

Chantal Foster, co-Chair of the Middlesex Land Trust Stewardship Committee is being awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for her inspiring leadership. Under her direction, volunteer support has grown, leading to new trails and bridges, protected dams, management of invasive species, erosion control and much more.

A Certificate of Appreciation is being presented to Nathan Botting for his expansion of the trail system at Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School in East Haddam. Over six years as a middle school student and Boy Scout, Nathan cleared trails, created maps and signage, built bridges and benches, and identified trees for educational and recreational use by students and the public.

ARTFARM is being presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for their environmental theater productions, agricultural and plant medicine programming, and advocacy work. Their original environmental education work, Circus for a Fragile Planet, focuses on climate change and making responsible choices, using acrobatics, juggling, balancing and comedy to engage and energize the audience.

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education and conservation in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants. Founded in 1935, the Foundation is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2020. As one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations, it continues its mission set by founding philanthropist Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth. In addition, The Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center, which offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.

For additional information about the 2020 Environmental Champion Awards, The Rockfall Foundation, or the October 8th Awards and Grants Celebration, please visit or call 860-347-0340.



Tony Marino
Executive Director


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