Each year the Waterman Fund recognizes the dedication and significant contributions by an individual furthering stewardship of New England alpine landscapes. The Waterman Fund is thrilled to announce Jean Hoekwater as the recipient of the 2017 Guy Waterman Alpine Steward Award. Jean Hoekwater has been the face of Baxter State Park’s information and interpretive services for 25 years, helping visitors understand the unique values of the park and how to use it, as Governor Baxter once said, “in the right, unspoiled way.” Guidebooks, maps, brochures, trailhead bulletin boards, the website and more; they all bear the imprint of Jean’s dedication to the mission of Baxter State Park. Thousands of visitors and numerous groups, including scouts, churches, schools, and conservation organizations, have heard Jean speak with passion and authority about the management of Baxter State Park, its diverse array of resources and how to help preserve it for future generations.
Jean initiated Leave No Trace (LNT) training for Baxter State Park staff and LNT education for visitors. She helped found Maine’s LNT Steering Committee, a group of land managers and others who collaborate on LNT education projects throughout the state. Closer to home, Jean implemented the park’s Mountain Patrol program educating visitors about visiting the alpine zone appropriately. She is also instrumental in several resource management efforts at Baxter State Park including monitoring for rare alpine plants such as Bigelow sedge and rare wildlife species such as Bicknell’s thrush.
Jean served three years as a Waterman Fund Board Member and Board Secretary, contributing the same passion and commitment to the Fund, she brought to all endeavors in support of the alpine.
The Waterman Fund is proud to honor Jean for her hard work, unwavering dedication, and endless enthusiasm for the alpine zones of New England. The award will be presented at the spring 2018 Alpine Stewardship Gathering.