Waterman Fund Presents 2015 Guy Waterman Alpine Steward Award to Nancy Ritger
East Corinth, VT – On November 6, 2015, Waterman Fund President Charlie Jacobi and founder Laura Waterman presented Nancy Ritger of Hart’s Location, New Hampshire with the 2015 Guy Waterman Alpine Steward Award at the 9th Northeast Alpine Stewardship Gathering in Millinocket, Maine. The Alpine Steward Award honors Guy Waterman, noted explorer, climber, trail maintainer, writer, and philosopher whose death in February 2000 sparked his friends and admirers to create a memorial fund to further his work and spirit on behalf of the wilderness values he championed and the stewardship ethic he embodied.
Ritger currently serves as the Huts and Cardigan Program Manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club. She has spent the past thirty years educating visitors about the natural history of the alpine zone of the White Mountains, including the actions they can take as hikers to care for this fragile habitat. An expert outdoorswoman and botanist, Ritger not only taught many workshops herself, but trained countless others to teach through the Volunteer Naturalist, Hut Naturalist, and Junior Naturalist Programs. One workshop participant described her as a “national treasure.” She has also taught alpine ecology and other classes at Granite State College. In her nomination, Walter Thayer and Chris Graff from the Appalachian Mountain Club wrote: “Nancy has truly made a positive impact imparting the wonders of the alpine zone and critical land stewardship messages to the public. We can’t help but imagine what the AMC, what the White Mountains, and what the world above tree-line would have been like without her.”
The Waterman Fund fosters the spirit of wildness and conserves the alpine areas of northeastern North America. Its programs include the alpine steward award, grants for alpine research, education, and trails, an essay contest focusing on stewardship and wildness, and the Northeast Alpine Stewardship Gathering. The Gathering brings together researchers, managers, and volunteers with a passion for the northeastern alpine zones every two years to share information and state of the art practices to conserve these special places. The next Gathering is expected to take place in the White Mountains.