Longtime Vermont Fish and Wildlife Biologist Steve Parren of Hinesburg was honored recently with the GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award.
Parren received the award at a presentation with officials from Green Mountain Power and state government at Sand Bar Wildlife Management Area in Milton. He was recognized for his dedicated work on behalf of Vermont endangered wildlife.
Parren “has helped save multiple endangered species, raised funds for non-game wildlife conservation and volunteered hundreds of hours on his own time to help turtles and amphibians,” Green Mountain Power said it its announcement of the award.
The award is named for a woman Parren once collaborated with to save endangered ospreys in Vermont.
“I am humbled. To receive an award named for Meeri Zetterstrom, one of the most determined and selfless environmentalists I have known, is incredibly meaningful to me,” Parren said. “When Meeri began her work to restore ospreys to Vermont, few people thought it could happen, but she persevered and proved all the doubters wrong – including me.”
The award is given annually to one person, business, group or nonprofit that has made a significant contribution to Vermont’s environment. It comes with a $2,500 donation to an environmental cause of the winner’s choice – in this case the Vermont Nongame Wildlife Fund.
Ospreys were removed from the endangered species list in 2005, and the award in her name was begun and announced shortly before Zetterstrom died in 2010.
Last year’s winner was Shelburne resident Marty Illick, executive director of the Lewis Creek Association for her work to protect watersheds.