Connecticut Audbon Society


Richard Telford, Winner of the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award

The Connecticut Audubon Society presented Richard Telford, whose volunteer work has helped improve Trail Wood in numerous ways, with its Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award, at the organization’s annual meeting on October 15 in at Deer Pond Farm, Sherman.

Richard was one of four honorees. Trail Wood/The Edwin Way Teale Memorial Sanctuary, in Hampton, is the site of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and naturalist Edwin Way Teale’s home and the subject of many of his publications.

“Over the last six years, Richard has worked tirelessly on behalf of our Trail Wood sanctuary and the legacy of Edwin Way Teale,” Patrick M. Comins, executive director of Connecticut Audubon, said at the meeting, which was held at the organization’s Deer Pond Farm preserve.

Among many other achievements, Richard wrote a 10-year revitalization plan for the sanctuary as part of his master’s thesis. He founded and has run Trail Wood’s artist-in-residence program, which is in its fifth season, and has given numerous lectures.

A scholar and author, Richard is at work on a biography of Teale, which he began while on sabbatical from Woodstock Academy during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Connecticut Audubon Society’s Volunteer Benchmark Award was established in 1993, and is given annually by its Board of Directors to one or more individuals whose volunteer activity has significantly enhanced the organization’s mission.

Each year at the annual meeting recipients are presented with a plaque commemorating their dedication to conservation. The other 2017 recipients are Dan Miller of Manchester, Louise Crocco of Milford, and D.G. Warner of Southport.

In 2007, the award was renamed the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award for a longtime member, donor, board member, and one-time interim president. Engelman epitomized the characteristics of an extraordinary volunteer by helping Connecticut Audubon Society grow both in spirit and as an organization.


You can see the list of previous winners here.






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