Photos: MHLC Annual Awards Dinner at River Stone Manor on February 27

Thank you to everyone who joined us on Tuesday evening for our 2018 Annual Awards Dinner. With warm weather and a gentle sunset, we enjoyed the historic River Stone Manor in Schenectady as friends old and new connected and discussed the exciting growth of our organization and the many prospects which lay ahead. This year, we honored Kathy Meany and John Abbuhl for their contributions to the preservation of the Capital Region.

Kathy Meany, a volunteer with MHLC for over five years, was presented with the Dan Driscoll Leadership Award. Ms. Meany volunteers as a Preserve Steward of the Bozen Kill Preserve in Altamont, digging trails, clearing brush, and caring for the land. She leads other volunteers and guests on guided hikes and also spends time representing the organization at local festivals and within the community. Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator Sawyer Cresap spoke of Kathy’s dedication before presenting the award, and Kathy told the crowd of her family’s history of connection to the land, her favorite moments working as a volunteer, and how she sees the importance of connecting residents of all ages with their local landscape.

Executive Director Mark King presented the Saving Special Places Award to John Abbuhl’s family in honor of Dr. Abbuhl’s lifetime of conservation work. In recognition of Dr. Abbuhl, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 91, sycamores will be planted on MHLC-preserved land. Dr. Abbuhl was a founding member of MHLC in 1992 and remained an Advisory Board Member in the years that followed; he was also the founder of the Pine Hollow Arboretum in Slingerlands. Dr. Abbuhl spent his lifetime working to preserve the Capital Region, and his family spoke of his love for the environment as they accepted the award.

Our special guest, Elizabeth Sobol, is President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. A veteran of the classical music and recording industry, Elizabeth has worked in the past as president and CEO of Universal Music Classics and spent nearly three decades at IMG Artists as its managing director. She spoke of her childhood in South Carolina, her connection to the land of her youth, and of the ties between conservation and the arts: we all must work together to cherish, preserve, and protect beauty in all of its forms.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this special night!

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