On the last day of summer, Anne Westerman of Southbury was presented with the Dr. Marc J. Taylor Environmental Stewardship Award by Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition. The award itself was presented during PRWC’s Annual Benefit – Cocktail Brunch by the Pond – held on September 22 at the magnificent 20-acre Woodbury Barns and Farm estate nestled on Main Street in town’s historic district.
Anne was recognized for her countless contributions to our environment. Since moving to Southbury in 1989, Anne has been an active volunteer with several environmental, civic, and community organizations. She focuses her volunteer work on her many interests that include music, travel, family and friends, and enjoying the outdoors in almost every way. She is currently ex officio officer of the Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust Board and served as its President for 10 years. Prior to becoming president, Anne served as a Board Member and on was involved with almost every one of Flanders’ working committees most notable of which is the Accreditation Committee. Thanks in large part to Anne’s leadership, Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust is now distinguished as “accredited” by the Land Trust Alliance.
During this time, Anne also generously contributed her time and expertise to the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition by serving on its Advisory Council and by volunteering for many events, projects, and programs of the PRWC including trash clean-ups, planting projects, educational programs and more. With each new effort, Anne, consistently shows up, rolls up her sleeves and asks “What do you need?” and “How can I help?” just as Marc Taylor was known to do. As such, PRWC was delighted to recognize the meaningful contributions Anne has made to conservation and environmental improvements within the communities of the Pomperaug River watershed by presenting her the Dr. Marc Taylor Environmental Stewardship Award for 2019.
Upon receiving the award, Westerman expressed her gratitude and said, “Thank you all for bestowing the Marc Taylor award on me, because that is truly how I feel -- bestowed with an honor that I could never feel worthy of. I hope that others will feel inspired to get out and volunteer, because every little bit helps whether picking up trash, pulling invasive plants, or serving on a committee. Everyone can do something. And besides, it is such an inspirational way to meet people like you, and work with them in their areas of passion and knowledge. I felt surrounded by love and appreciation.”
PRWC’s Board of Directors established the Dr. Marc J. Taylor Environmental Stewardship Award in 2015 to honor Dr. Taylor and his exceptional vision and long term exemplary commitment to environmental stewardship, and to recognize similar efforts by dedicated Connecticut conservationists. Past awardees include Margaret Minor of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, Tom Crider of the Southbury Land Trust, Dick Leavenworth of the Northwest Conservation District, Woodbury Conservation Commission, and Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition, and Curtis Read, first selectman of Bridgewater, of the Northwest Conservation District, the Connecticut Association of Conservation Districts and the Western CT Water Utility Coordinating Committee.
Dr. Taylor, who passed away in June of 2012, is remembered as a highly respected and compassionate physician, educator, and environmental leader. In 1999, Dr. Taylor and a group of his peers founded PRWC to study the quality and quantity of water in the Pomperaug Watershed, a 90-square mile area that touches eight towns in western Connecticut. PRWC works with watershed communities, regulatory agencies, environmental organizations and community volunteers to continue Dr. Taylor's legacy in stewarding the local water resources.
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