Tin Mountain annual awards-Upper Saco Valley Land Trust

The Upper Saco Valley Land Trust is the recipient of Tin Mountain Conservation Center's Distinguished Service Award. (COURTESY PHOTO)

ALBANY — Tin Mountain Conservation Center announced the well-deserving recipients of its annual awards. Traditionally, these awards are presented at the annual meeting in May. As with many events and awards, this year’s awards are being presented virtually.

“On behalf of the staff and the board of trustees, we want to thank and honor these folks for their many contributions. We’re sorry that we aren’t able to present these awards and recognize these people and organizations in person,” said Lori Kinsey, executive director. “We want them to know how much we appreciate all the time, talent and resources they have generously given to Tin Mountain.”

Since its beginning, 40 years ago this year, Tin Mountain has grown and thrived thanks to the tremendous support it has received from a strong and devoted group of volunteers, members, and businesses.

Each year, Tin Mountain recognizes those people, businesses, and organizations whose efforts have gone above and beyond.

There are five award recipients this year:

The Volunteer of the Year award recognizes individuals who have supported Tin Mountain events and/or daily activities.

Tin Mountain annual awards-Victor and Karen Vitek

Victor and Karen Vitek are the recipients of Tin Mountain Conservation Center’s Volunteer of the Year  award. (COURTESY PHOTO)

This year, Tin Mountain recognizes Victor and Karen Vitek, who worked tirelessly the past few years organizing and entering the hundreds of items donated for the First Season benefit auction. When the decision was made to move the First Season Auction online, Victor and Karen went to work to upload pictures, and add detailed descriptions into the software. They helped test the site and fine-tune listings to make sure everything was ready to go. This year’s Inaugural Online Auction was made possible thanks to the tireless dedication of Karen and Victor.

The Exemplary Service Award recognizes a current Trustee of the Tin Mountain Board of Trustees who has worked hard to make a lasting contribution to the organization. Leslie Schomaker came to the board with a strong financial background and quickly took on the role of treasurer as well as the herculean task of streamlining the financial reporting and moving the system online. What first seemed convenient quickly became indispensable with the shift to remote work in mid-March.

Tin Mountain annual awards-Dylan Harry

Dylan Harry is the recipient of Tin Mountain’s Outstanding Environmental Educator Award. (COURTESY PHOTO)

The Outstanding Environmental Educator Award recognizes a teacher who in addition to working with and supporting Tin Mountain in the classroom, works to further exploration and environmental stewardship. Dylan Harry, a science teacher and director of the OLRC at Fryeburg Academy, began working with Tin Mountain several years ago.

From the beginning, he enthusiastically jumped in, often co-teaching classes and utilizing local natural areas to better connect his students to the environment. He has been a champion for Tin Mountain, advocating for greater integration into Fryeburg Academy Curriculum and lobbying for administrative support of Tin Mountain programming.

This year’s Business Volunteer Award is presented to an organization in the Mount Washington Valley that has consistently helped advance Tin Mountain’s mission and programs.

Increasing awareness is essential to the success of Tin Mountain programs and events and there is no better way to be heard than through the Mt. Washington Radio & Gramophone group of radio stations, including 93.5 WMWV, 95.3 Easy and FM 104.

Tin Mountain annual awards- Roy Prescott

Roy Prescott, a participant in the Mt. Washington Century+ bike event, received  a special bib number in honor of Tin Mountain Conservation Center's Business Volunteer Award for Mt. Washington Radio & Gramophone group of radio stations, including 93.5 WMWV, 95.3 Easy and FM 104. (COURTESY PHOTO)

The stations consistently promote Tin Mountain events, provide updates and program changes, and host Tin Mountain staff and Trustees for interviews on Drive Time. These stations are the voice of the valley and we appreciate it when that voice speaks for Tin Mountain and its programs and events. Roy Prescott of WMWV supports and participates in the Mt. Washington Century+ bike event, so he received a special bib number.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual or organization who has been a champion for the environment and the community, not just for a year or two, but for the long run. Upper Saco Valley Land Trust has certainly earned this distinction.

Through thoughtful community projects such as the Pine Hill Community Forest, and agricultural and water initiatives, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust seeks not just to preserve land, but the Mount Washington Valley as a whole.

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