Russell Family Honored at DNRT’s 48th Annual Meeting

The non-profit Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) honored Angelica Lloyd Russell’s family with the “Bill Pinney Conservation Leadership Award” at its 48th Annual Meeting on May 15 at Friends Academy in Dartmouth. The Pinney award, named in memory of one of the founders of DNRT, was established in 2017 to honor those who have made an outstanding contribution to the conservation of Dartmouth’s natural resources. This year’s award was both a tribute to Angelica, who passed away in 2003, and an appreciation of the many years of outstanding support for land conservation made by each one of sons and daughters: Peter Macdonald, Lloyd Macdonald, Kissy Russell, Dedee Shattuck and Vickie Cunningham.

The Russell family has a long history of conservation support, beginning in 1934 when Angelica’s father bought Barney’s Joy to prevent the development of a large beachfront amusement park. In 1953 Angelica, her mother, and her sister gave 220 acres, now Demarest Lloyd State Park, to the State of Massachusetts. In 1971, more of the Barney’s Joy land was protected with a conservation restriction. Eventually 243 acres at Barney’s Joy were so protected. Angelica then turned her attention toward helping Mass Audubon preserve hundreds of acres of land around Allens Pond — and provided incredible support to DNRT and The Trustees of Reservations for the creation of the Slocums River Reserve.

In presenting the award, DNRT Executive Director, Dexter Mead, said, “Peter, Lloyd, Kissy, Dedee, and Vickie all share Angelica’s love of nature, love of the Dartmouth landscape, and determination to protect it. They were all early members of DNRT and are always among the first to support a DNRT land acquisition campaign, setting an example for others to follow. Their involvement as active fundraisers was invaluable for the two largest campaigns in DNRT history: the $8 million Slocum’s River Conservation Project from 1998-2001 and the $9 million Allens Pond Completion Campaign in 2016-17.” Lloyd Macdonald and Dedee Shattuck were present to accept the award.

Also at the meeting, DNRT President James Forbush presented DNRT’s “Joe Frothingham Award” to DNRT Board Member and volunteer extraordinaire Tom Matthews. This award is given annually to a DNRT member who exemplifies Frothingham’s dedication to conservation, love of the outdoors, and pure joy in it all. Since joining DNRT in 2012, Matthews has truly demonstrated all of these traits. A retired engineer, Matthews has offered his time and skill to DNRT in many ways including, but certainly not limited to, computing the electrical needs of the Trust’s Helfand Farm office for a solar array, capping a live well in one of DNRT’s North Dartmouth properties, improving viewing platforms, building hundreds of feet of boardwalk, and spending countless hours with the DNRT trail crew.

In other business, DNRT members elected three new members to its Board of Directors: Lee MacGregor, Steven Shuster, and Marge Waite. Officers elected were Lorraine Granda as President, Andy Mellgard as Vice-President, Gretchen Knowlton as Secretary, and Clifford “Tip” Tracy as Treasurer. Tim Mahoney renewed a second 3-year term.

The business meeting was followed by a presentation by Larry Dapsis, Deer Tick Project Coordinator and Entomologist with Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. Dapsis spoke of the prevalence of deer ticks and tick-borne diseases in New England, as well as preventative methods for dealing with ticks. The talk was particularly relevant to the DNRT audience, who were engaged and asked many questions following the lecture.

DNRT is a non-profit, membership-supported land trust with a mission “To preserve and protect Dartmouth’s natural resources for people and nature, forever.” Over the last 46 years, it has worked in partnership with other conservation organizations, state agencies and the Town of Dartmouth to protect more than 5,000 acres of natural areas and farmland in Dartmouth.