Three environmentalists honored by Westborough Community Land Trust


Al Sanborn
Al Sanborn

Westborough – The Westborough Community Land Trust (WCLT) recently announced its 2014 award recipients. Long-time Westborough resident Marty Newark was honored with the Ellie and Jack Pepper Award for his bluebird conservation work in Westborough over many years.

WCLT member Kate Donaghue received the President’s Award for her work in organizing and running membership drives for the land trust – both the original drive in 1998 and WCLT’s second drive earlier this year. Member and Founding Director Al Sanborn received the President’s Award for his many years of tireless work in trail stewardship – “keeping the trails user-friendly,” as Sanborn described it.

“Marty is passionate about bluebird conservation; Kate is driven to organize people and motivate them to do good; and Al just loves being out in the woods maintaining trails,” WCLT President Scott Shumway said about this year’s award winners. “Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, ‘The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.’

Kate Donaghue
Kate Donaghue

Marty, Kate and Al have achieved these goals, and because they truly love what they do, have found much happiness in their volunteer work. Together they provide a great service to the environment, the people of Westborough, and WCLT.”

WCLT’s Pepper Award recognizes an individual in the community who has done outstanding work in conservation. Newark’s conservation efforts on behalf of bluebirds culminated in the creation of the Marty Newark Legacy Bluebird Trail, consisting of 100 bluebird boxes in Westborough. The trail was completed earlier this year through Boy Scout Matthew Buffo’s Eagle project.

The two WCLT President’s Awards recognize members who have given outstanding service to the land trust and its goals of preserving, protecting, and promoting open space. Both recipients brought their passion for the outdoors and their decades of outdoor experience to their volunteer work for WCLT.

Donaghue’s childhood love of the outdoors led to 30 years of volunteer work with Vermont’s Green Mountain Club and the Long Trail in that state, and to her extensive

Marty Newark with Boy Scout Matthew Buffo
Marty Newark with Boy Scout Matthew Buffo

volunteer work with WCLT since its creation in 1997.

“The respite provided by the outdoors, both large and small, rejuvenates me, as do the many friendships I have formed working in the woods,” Donaghue said. “I have the opportunity to walk out my front door here in Westborough and enjoy the WCLT trail system.”

After retiring in in 1988, Sanborn took a part-time job with Sudbury Valley Trustees, managing the Walkup Reservation in Westborough. He also became involved with the Westborough Community Land Trust and, later, the Grafton Land Trust.

“At age 85, I hope to continue keeping those trails user-friendly,” he said. “My involvement with WCLT has been a huge blessing for me. I am just so thankful that the opportunity was there and my health has allowed me to do the things that I truly love to do.”