01.27.2016 MIDLLEBURY, VT Academics for Land Protection in New England (ALPINE), a land conservation network based at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University, will present the Charles H.W. Foster Award for Exemplary Academic Leadership in Land Conservation to Middlebury College on February 22, 2016. The award recognizes the college’s protection of its 2,100-acre Bread Loaf Campus in Vermont, and honors Charles H.W. Foster, the distinguished conservation leader and mentor who passed away several years ago.

Dr. Foster was, throughout a career of leadership in both the academic and public sectors, a remarkable catalyst of conservation initiatives, being a key player in the establishment of both the Cape Cod NationalMiddlebury College Awarded Charles H.W. Foster Award for Commitment to Land Conservation Seashore and the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge, as well as a great many other local and regional initiatives. Foster was the first Secretary of Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the first full-time Executive Directors of The Nature Conservancy, the Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a beloved lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School’s Environment and Natural Resources Program. He was also a close collaborator with generations of program managers at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy focused on land conservation.

On February 22, 2016, ALPINE will convene an award ceremony at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts to celebrate the successful initiative undertaken by Middlebury College to conserve its Bread Loaf Campus for its ecological and forestland values as well as educational and recreational uses. Middlebury’s Bread Loaf initiative was financed both internally and through a very generous matching gift from Middlebury alumnus Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation (for more information, see http://www.middlebury.edu/newsroom/node/488112). Mr. Bacon has also underwritten the Louis Bacon Environmental Fellows Program, launched fall 2015 and housed at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, where he is a member of the Center’s Leadership Council.

Middlebury was selected for this inaugural Charles H.W. Foster Award based on three criteria, reports David Foster (no relation), Director of the Harvard Forest and the leader of the Wildlands and Woodlands Initiative: “The outstanding effort to protect a landscape of high environmental and cultural significance; the high level of engagement of all stakeholders; and the far-reaching and lasting impact on the integrity and connectivity of conserved landscapes.”

The award event will be co-sponsored by the Harvard Forest, Harvard Kennedy School’s Environment and Natural Resources Program, Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The event will feature introductory comments from David Foster (Director of the Harvard Forest), Henry Lee (Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program at Harvard Kennedy School) and James Levitt (Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest and Manager of Land Conservation Programs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy). Accepting the Award on behalf of Middlebury College will be Middlebury President Laurie Patton. Following Dr. Patton’s comments, Nan Jenks-Jay, Dean of Environmental Affairs at Middlebury, will offer a brief overview of the Bread Loaf initiative and its impact.

In the early twenty-first century, it will take initiative from all hands — including innovators from the public, private, civic, academic sectors — to address the immense environmental challenges we face, including climate change and landscape fragmentation. Academic institutions in New England, where much of the theory and practice of conservation and environmental protection emerged in the United States, have a great deal to offer in addressing these challenges. To tap the energy and initiative of colleges, universities and research stations across the region, the Wildlands and Woodlands Initiative, based at the Harvard Forest (a research and educational unit of Harvard University) took the lead, alongside the Highstead Foundation and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, in forming ALPINE. The organization’s mission is to encourage the faculty, students, administration, staff and alumni of institutions of higher education across New England to become significantly engaged in the conservation of land across the region.

This will be an invitation-only event. For further information on the award, please contact any of the following individuals:

For event details and logistics, please contact:

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