Annual Environmental Awards

Each year the foundation honors individuals and groups to highlight their contributions to the region. The Tom ODell Distinguished Service Awardis given for outstanding life-long accomplishments in the area of natural resource preservation, conservation or development. Certificates of Appreciation are awarded to recognize significant environmental programs and projects. The 2018 nomination period is now open until September 20, 2018. Awardees will be honored at the November 1, 2018 Annual Meeting.

The focus areas include:

  • Preservation: work to protect ecosystems, species, and other irreplaceable elements of the region’s natural heritage.
  • Conservation: work to minimize our use of finite natural resources and our negative impacts on ecosystems and communities.
  • Restoration: work to re-establish the healthy functions of an ecosystem or parts of ecosystems.
  • Education: work to foster a stronger awareness and understanding of environmental and sustainability issues.

Nomination forms must be received by September 20, 2018 at amanda@rockfallfoundation.org or at The Rockfall Foundation, deKoven House Community Center, 27 Washington St., Middletown, CT 06457. Nomination forms can be downloaded here.

*In honor of Tom ODell’s many years of environmental service in the Lower Connecticut River Valley, The Rockfall Foundation has named its Distinguished Service Award in his memory. Tom’s many contributions to the natural world were recognized by The Rockfall Foundation in 2016 by presenting him with the Distinguished Service Award. With his passing in 2018, Rockfall is honoring his legacy with the renaming of this annual award to Tom ODell Distinguished Service Award.

Most Recent Past Recipients:

2017: Distinguished Service Award – Jane Harris; Certificates of Appreciation – Jonah Center for Earth and Art; Janet Sisson (Independent Day School Teacher)

2016: Distinguished Service Award – Thomas ODell; Certificates of Appreciation – Connecticut Water Company; Connecticut River Expeditions/RiverQuest

2015: Distinguished Service Award – Sue Merrow; Certificates of Appreciation – Common Goods Garden; Food for All Garden; Long Lane Farm; President’s Awards in honor of Rockfall Foundation’s 80th Year – David Bingham, Eric Hammerling, Amy Blaymore Paterson

2014: Distinguished Service Award – Alliance for Sound area Planning (ASaP); Certificates of Appreciation – Jim and Sara Keaney, Suellen McCuin, Belinda Murano

2013: Distinguished Service Award – Marcie Klattenburg; Certificate of Appreciation – Chris Zurcher


Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants. In addition, the Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center that offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.

For additional information about the Environmental Awards or The Rockfall Foundation, contact amanda@rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

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