Submitted by Priscilla Ryder, Marlborough Conservation Officer
Marlborough – On March 21 the Conservation Commission received a surprise visit from the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) to present Allan White, of Marlborough, with MACC’s Long Time Service Award for 40 continuous years of dedicated service on the Marlborough Conservation Commission. They also recognized Edward Clancy for his 50 continuous years of dedicated service on the Marlborough Conservation Commission. These two men have worked side by side for the past 40 years protecting the city’s wetlands, waterways and open spaces.
White joined the Marlborough Conservation Commission as an associate member in 1977 and was appointed full time in 1979. A life-long resident of Marlborough, he has been active and committed to the protection of the natural environment within the city. He knows every inch of Marlborough and all its wetlands, streams, wildlife and greenways.
White has always been a strong advocate for balancing development and environmental protection. As an outdoorsman, hunter, local contractor and farmer, his contributions range from extensive knowledge about the wildlife in the area to construction strategies and low impact alternatives for developers. Being a skilled contractor, he advises applicants and the Commission on how to best sequence projects to protect wetlands and waterways.
He was part of two separate Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP) Committees, which produced reports in 1988 and 1997. He has attended meetings twice a month for the past 40 years, which adds up to over 950+ evening meetings in his conservation commission career to date. He has also participated in countless site visits before work, in the evenings, and on the weekends.
Clancy, over his 50 years on the Conservation Commission, has also watched the face of Marlborough change, from the country kind of city with its many apple orchards and fields and shoe factories, to a bustling commercial city with high tech industries, financial institutions, hotels and malls, none of which existed in 1968 when he began to serve the city as a Conservation Commissioner and a biology teacher at the high school.
He has been the chairman for the past 26 years. Not only does he serve as chairman to the Conservation Commission, he also is the President of the City Council, and brings his knowledge of environmental protection to the City Council level as well.
White and Clancy have reviewed over 1,200 permits with the Conservation Commission for projects including Ghiloni Park, Solomon Pond mall, Hotels, RK Plaza, the 48 acres of Apex Center, and many more.
Both men know where all the wetlands are and where the water flows. If there’s a stream somewhere in Marlborough, Ed and Allan both know about it. These two dedicated men have been vigilant along with the rest of the Commission to see that wetlands are protected for everyone’s benefit: wetlands protection is important for the community water supply, clean water for recreation, protection against flooding, for public enjoyment and wildlife habitat protection.
Lee Curtis, from MACC, read a quotation from Allan White which she had solicited earlier when asked what words of wisdom he wanted to share. She read his response as follows: “Our tasks ahead of us are far greater than I believe we could ever imagine. As the world’s population increases, the demands on natural resources becomes greater and greater. It is up to us working together to set the stage for future generations. To protect and preserve Mother Nature will become a monumental task.”
The city of Marlborough is very proud to be working with Allan White and Edward Clancy and joins MACC in honoring their perseverance in protecting wetlands and open space for the past half-century.