2004 Alpine Steward Award Winner: Dr. Edwin “Ketch” Ketchledge

Dr. Edwin KetchledgeThe Waterman Fund presented its second annual Alpine Steward Award at the Fund’s annual dinner on Sunday, March 14, 2004 in Waterbury, Vermont. The award is given each year to a person or organization that has demonstrated a long-term commitment to protecting the physical and spiritual qualities of the northeast’s mountain wilderness.

This year’s recipient is Dr. Edwin “Ketch” Ketchledge, who has worked for more than four decades to advance our ecological understanding of the alpine plant communities in the Adirondacks.

In presenting the award, fund board Member Laura Waterman noted that, “Ketch has applied his scientific knowledge in practical ways that bridge science and solutions. Perhaps even more important, he has infused countless students and the public at large with the spirit of stewardship that springs from his own passionate commitment to alpine habitat.” An avid hiker himself, “Ketch” engaged members of the hiking community in alpine stewardship. In the 1960’s and 1970’s he pioneered research and restoration efforts to repair damaged plant communities in the High Peak Region of the Adirondacks. Ketch was also the prime mover behind the Adirondack Summit Stewardship Program, whereby on-site staff help teach hikers about their role in protecting alpine vegetation.

Ketchledge received a large, framed photograph taken on Algonquin Peak in the Adirondacks, by noted mountain photographer Peter Cole.

More than fifty supporters of the Fund attended the annual dinner, which was held at the Mist Grill. At the dinner, Fund President Chuck Wooster announced that the Fund had raised nearly $130,000 in its first three years. Wooster also announced that three recipients received $4,343 in grants in 2004. The Green Mountain Club received funding for undertaking an alpine outreach effort, the Appalachian Mountain Club and US Forest Service received funding for a joint alpine conference, and the Adirondack Nature Conservancy and Adirondack Mountain Club received funding for an alpine monitoring project.

Finally, Wooster announced the receipt of a generous $10,000 donation from Stonyfield Farm. “Gary Hirshberg and the staff at Stonyfield have been extraordinarily generous partners,” said Wooster. “Their gift serves the dual purpose of funding stewardship projects today while also inspiring us to continue developing the Fund in creative, new directions.”

“It means a great deal to all of us at Stonyfield Farm to contribute to the Waterman Fund ” says Gary Hirshberg, President and CEO of the New Hampshire based yogurt maker. “The fund has proven its skills at leveraging dollars to make the greatest positive impact for the northeast’s alpine areas.”

Photo: Laura Waterman and Waterman Fund President Chuck Wooster present the 2004 Waterman Fund Alpine Steward Award to Dr. Ed Ketchledge.

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