Celebrating its 65th anniversary, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association honored to environmental leaders at its annual meeting April 28 at the Watershed Reserve in Pennington.
The meeting was held adjacent to the organization’s partially constructed environmental center, scheduled to open late Fall.
The Watershed Association honored two of central New Jersey’s environmental leaders, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Hillsborough Middle School science teacher Michelle Hill.
Calling it a “watershed moment,” executive director Jim Waltman spoke of the accomplishment of reaching the financial goal to begin construction on the new environmental center. He also paid tribute to the Watershed Association’s past executive directors and volunteer leadership during its 65 year history, and celebrated the many milestones and achievements of the Watershed over the past six and a half decades.
“Scores of local and state laws have been passed to protect water and landscapes because of this organization,” Waltman said. “Open space is preserved where once thousands of homes were to be built. Over 35 tons of trash has been pulled from local rivers and streams. We’ve inspired generations of residents to love and care for the earth, changing mindsets and behaviors along the way.”
The Watershed Association awarded Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16th) its Environmental Leadership Award for his commitment to protecting and restoring clean water, open space and the environment.
Hillsborough Middle School Science teacher Michelle Hill was presented with the Watershed Association’s Richard Rotter Award for Excellence in Environmental Education for her high level of enthusiasm and commitment to environmental education. Hill initiated Students of Environmental Action, and teaches her students respect and responsibility for their natural world.
In addition, the organization elected new members of its board of trustees and saluted outgoing trustees at the annual meeting.
Trustees, staff and members welcomed new members of the organization’s board of trustees Beth Burrough of Hopewell Township, Katherine B. Hackett of Montgomery Township, Katharine Kinsolving of Lawrence Township, Scott Sillars of Princeton and Daniel Van Abs of South Brunswick, and saluted outgoing trustees William Ayers, Peter Gibson, Margaret Gorrie, Brian McDonald, Randy Mehrberg and Margaret Sieck.
The Watershed Association also announced that it was naming the main entrance hall in its new environmental center, which will feature interactive exhibits about the environment, after long-time trustee and supporter Margaret (Meg) Gorrie.
The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, a not-for-profit organization, protects the 265-square-mile region drained by the Stony Brook and Millstone River – an area spanning 25 towns and five counties. Founded in 1949, the Watershed Association is central New Jersey’s first environmental group protecting clean water and the environment through conservation, advocacy, science and education.