DEEP: 2011 Individual/Civic Group GreenCircle Award Recipients

GreenCircle Award Recipients
2011 Individual / Civic Group

Name of Individual or Civic Group


Description Of Activity

Anita Goerig
Beacon Falls, CT

Voluntarily contribute significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, DEEP fish and wildlife projects, water quality monitoring programs, or lake, river or watershed associations.

The Community Forum, Dedicated to Their Diverse Landscape, Outdoor Recreation and Greenway Opportunities event hosted by the Conservation Commission of Beacon Falls and led by Community Outreach Chair, Anita Goerig, was developed to continue to advance the conservation commission's natural resource planning initiatives, by educating the stakeholders on the value of these resources and engaging the community and its leaders in its efforts. The Forum featured presentations by leading environmental specialists, including Post University professor Dr. Elizabeth Johnson the keynote speaker, Dr. Johnson. She spoke about the undermined importance of soil, the very fabric of our natural resources, in a compelling presentation to all stakeholders in the community.

Community support is vital to the success of conserving our natural resources. Goals outlined to achieve success include: to enlighten all stakeholders of the natural resource assets available in their community, especially their younger stakeholders, the next generation of conservationists; to educate all on the ecosystem in community; to continue to gather support in their natural resource management and developmental plans; to receive technical assistance in the research and development of open space planning; to research grants and consider ways to raise monies for the Naugatuck River Greenway, to obtain community input pertaining to their natural resource requirements. The chief objectives of the communication activities are: 1) to inform the stakeholders of the natural resource assets in Beacons Falls; to educate all stakeholders on the ecosystem in the community; to gain support from stakeholders on conservation initiatives and funds from investors; coordinate with local, state, and federal officials and volunteers; and continued communication throughout the school system on our natural resources.

Marcia A. Leclerc
East Hartford, CT

Sponsor a river, beach, or neighborhood clean-up day.

On Saturday, May 14, 2011, 125 volunteers from throughout East Hartford came together in an initiative to clean the major thoroughfare through the town. The Main Street Bridge to Bridge clean-up incorporates the volunteer efforts of town employees, student groups, churches, businesses, and civic organizations to clean a 2 mile downtown commercial and residential area. Using supplies donated by local businesses and supporters, the groups spruced up the gateway area of East Hartford. Students, who donate their time in service to their community, work alongside community leaders and volunteers to understand the environmental impact the removal of trash and refuse can have within a community. East Hartford is a prideful community with a proud history and a bright future.

Jon Petersen
Wallingford, CT

Adopt a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway, or beach for a year and donate significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects (e.g., projects or programs promoted by youth groups, community based organizations, businesses, or governmental entities).

In December 2004 the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved a new trail project for Millers Pond State Park and the adjoining sections of Cockaponset State Forest. The existing trail system was limited and poorly laid out. The new plan called for the development of an outlying loop trail to circumnavigate the property and connect the various existing "spoke" trails. In 2005 with the help of volunteers on three trail maintenance events, the first 1.5 miles were cleared. In 2006, Jon Petersen came to his first trail clearing event at Millers Pond State Park. He became excited about the project and under DEP supervision, he took over the job of laying out the next section of trail. Once approved by DEP Jon and his volunteers cleared the next section of trail, connecting to the next "spoke." Over the next two years, Jon and his volunteers progressed this way to eventually complete 10 miles of new trail.

The trails were designed to be sustainable and require very little maintenance, traversing steep grades and avoiding or bridging wet areas. Incorporating various natural features along the way, the trail presents a challenging technical journey for both hikers and mountain bikers alike. Since the trail completion, park attendance by trail users has increased dramatically, as well as the "off season" use of this formerly summer only destination. Tropical storm Irene hit Connecticut in late August of 2011, leaving massive amounts of downed trees and branches in her wake. Jon promptly organized volunteers and committed much of his own time, quickly clearing the trails at Millers Pond State Park. When a record early snow storm hit in late October, causing state wide power outages and again dropping massive amounts of branches on the trails, Jon and his volunteers logged 30 hours to clear the trails in less than two weeks.

Over the last five years, Jon has committed hundreds of hours of volunteer time in trail design, clearing, maintenance and volunteer organizing; work that otherwise would not get done, and continues to be a steward for the trails at this State Park. He does ongoing maintenance as needed, either solo or with other volunteers, and responded promptly to address the multitude of downed trees and branches left after two major storms crippled the state.

Jon is an invaluable asset to this department and for the thousands of visitors that come to Millers Pond State Park each year.

GreenCircle Award Recipients | GreenCircle Award Program

Content Last Updated on November 28, 2012