Freedom, Equality, Altruism

HVA Trustees and Staff receive recogntions and awards

GHENT, NY–Two members of Hawthorne Valley Association’s Board of Trustees and a staff member have recently received national recognition for their work. The Farmscape Ecology Program also received a local award for their ecological and agricultural research in Columbia County.

The Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program was presented on March 24th with one of the five Good Earthkeeping Awards given by the Columbia County Environmental Managament Council this year.

Botanist Claudia Knab-Vispo, wildlife ecologist Conrad Vispo and social anthropologist Anna Duhon from the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program were recognized for the environmental education role they play with their open houses, regular educational and explorative nature walks, informative website, and ongoing relationships with Columbia County landowners and farmers. In particular the program conducts essential biological and ecological research that continually builds upon our knowledge of the specific flora and fauna that is found in Columbia County.

The Program co-directors were happy to be in the company of our friends and collaborators Gretchen Stevens, Fran Martino and Thompson Finch Farm, as well as Project Ghent, who also were honored with this award. Please click here for more details.

On May 1st, Hawthorne Valley Association Board of Trustees president Ellen Condliffe Lagemann traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend a Congressional reception and have lunch with First Lady Michelle Obama in honor of the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). Ellen is the Levy Institute Research Professor at Bard College, a Senior Scholar at the Levy Institute, and a Distinguished Fellow at the BPI. The Initiative provides meaningful college education to inmates in six correctional facilities in New York State. Since it began in 1999, BPI has had 500 students enrolled and has graduated 275.

On May 6th, Hawthorne Valley Association Board Trustee Mary Cleaver and Rachel Schneider, Director of the Place Based Learning Center, received Women Greening Food Special Recognitions as part of the National Audubon Society’s 2014 Rachel Carson Award.

Both Rachel and Mary have long histories in the sustainable food movement, and these recognitions were given in honor of their unmistakable contributions to the green food movement. Over the 20 years she has worked at Hawthorne Valley, Rachel has exemplified unwavering devotion to place-based education and sustainable farming and dedicated countless hours to establishing the Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program–one of the first in the country–and the Farm Learning Center. Both of these additions to Hawthorne Valley have aided our mission to provide fresh, wholesome food and to bring people to the Farm for hands-on experiences with the natural world that provides our sustenance.

Mary has been a pioneer in the Farm to Table movement long before it was a movement as the founder and owner of The Cleaver Co. and The Green Table in Chelsea Market. Over 35 years, she has built her company into one of the finest catering companies and restaurants in New York City, offering sustainable food from local sources. Her dedication and passion for quality, local food has helped grow the demand for farm-fresh products and bolstered farming economy.

The Rachel Carson Award is the nation’s most prestigious award for women leaders from all backgrounds who work to further the environmental movement. This year’s honorees are Ellen Futter, Kaiulani Lee, and Nell Newman.