Barnstable Land Trust honored two women for their efforts in conservation and volunteer leadership at their Annual Meeting on July 14 at Lowell Park in Cotuit.
Cotuit’s Jaci Barton was honored with the Founder’s AwardIn in recognition of her decades of passion, leadership and commitment to land conservation. Polly Dana-Schumacher of Barnstable received the President’s Award in honor of her 20-plus years of dedicated support to the volunteers, board and staff of BLT.
The Land Trust also debuted a new walking trail at their Lowell Park Woodlands conservation area and celebrated the recently published Barnstable Trail Guide which spotlights 34 hiking trails representing almost 95 miles.
“Jaci’s ability to make things happen is incredible—there are over a thousand acres conserved due to her determination,” said Mark Robinson, executive director of the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, as he presented the award alongside former Massachusetts State Sen. Robert O’Leary. “Her ability to navigate the big-city politics of the Town of Barnstable, which is more complicated in some ways than dealing with other Cape towns, is incredible on its own.”
“Without Jaci’s hard work, vision, and perseverance, there would be no Barnstable Land Trust,” said Janet Milkman, Barnstable Land Trust’s Executive Director. “She planted the seeds when the land conservation movement was just gaining momentum and grew the organization over the next 30-plus years, building a strong foundation for today’s organization which continues to be a recognized leader in preserving and protecting Barnstable’s natural assets.”
Starting in the 1980s, Barton’s work in creating the Barnstable Land Trust led to important land conservation efforts that are still being celebrated and improved upon today including Fuller Farm, Lowell Park, Cordwood and Hathaways Pond. She credited community effort as the true force behind the conservation movement.
“I was on the front line to help protect the open spaces, but I had a board of directors and a community that was working with me,” Barton said.
Outgoing Board president Joseph Hawley presented Polly Dana-Schumacher with the President’s Award in recognition of her decades as a volunteer including serving on the board of directors, acting as board clerk, and co-chairing the organization’s annual fundraiser. She currently leads the Volunteer Committee which boasts more than 80 active members and annually contributes over 2,000 donated hours towards land stewardship projects, educational and community outreach efforts, and general operational support.