2006 Alpine Steward Award Winner: Rick Paradis

Prof Rick ParadisThe Waterman Fund presented its 2006 Guy Waterman Alpine Steward Award at the Fund’s annual dinner on Saturday, March 11 in Bradford, 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 University of Vermont Professor Rick Paradis, of Middlesex, Vermont. Paradis currently serves as a member of the faculty of the Environmental Program at UVM and Director of the UVM Natural Areas Center. He has trained dozens of Green Mountain Club alpine stewards, and was instrumental in the expansion of the Summit Caretaker Program to Camel’s Hump and Mount Abraham. More recently, he completed a Habitat Recovery Plan for Vermont’s alpine communities and is currently conducting research on comparing mountain stewardship and conservation efforts in New England with the Highlands of Scotland.

In presenting the award, Waterman Fund board Member Laura Waterman commented that, “When I think of Rick Paradis I think of his wonderful example of leadership but it’s Rick’s commitment to a healthy mountain environment that really shines out.”

Paradis received a dramatic, framed photograph of Mount Mansfield by noted mountain photographer Paul Hansen, whose company, Ecopixel, is based in Burlington, Vermont.

The Fund annual dinner was held at the Perfect Pear restaurant. At the dinner, Fund President Carl Demrow commented, “We thank our friends, whose generosity has helped us to meet our initial goal of $250,000 ahead of schedule. With their support, we’ve established a firm foundation for encouraging the stewardship of our alpine areas– their sweeping views, rare ecology, and enduring spirit of wildness that captivate and inspire us. The alpine areas are the crown jewels of our Northeast mountains.”

The Waterman Fund’s objective is to strengthen the human stewardship of the open summits, exposed ridgelines, and alpine areas of the Northeast. Since its founding in 2000, the Fund has supported numerous alpine stewardship projects by organizations and agencies in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

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