For the past 20 years, Gary Griffin has been a tireless volunteer at the Trust.
A soils scientist at the University of Connecticut by profession, and a former member of the Willington Conservation Commission, Gary was encouraged by Dan Donahue and Betsy Treiber to become a member of the Trust. Never one to join and then sit — Did you ever see him hustle around Mansfield Supply? — he quickly became a Trustee, and then chaired the trails committee.
He has also done boundary work with Hill Bullard, and is currently working with foresters as the Trust organizes its first forest management program at Bernard Church Woods in Chaplin. He is happiest out of doors, doing field work, whether constructing or restoring trails, as well as maintaining the records of the work parties.
One of his favorite properties is the Utley Hill Preserve in Columbia. He has fond memories of moving wheelbarrows of wood chips onto the poorly-maintained trail, with the reward of smoked salmon provided by Lance Magnusson and potato chips for a true fish and chips party.
Ann Lewis, the Trust’s conservation coordinator, says that Gary continues “to serve as a reservoir of knowledge about how to get things done on our preserves and [is] our go to person.”
He appreciates those volunteers who “really get caught up in it,” as he feels that without them, the Trust would fall flat.
Gary encourages all the volunteers to “keep up the great work!” As long as he stays healthy and in shape, he will continue to give his time and energy to the Trust, he says.
In 2013, he was honored with the Mighty Oak Award by the Trust for long and steady stewardship service.