Parker Lord has been named the 2019 Lyme Land Trust volunteer of the year, the first ever recipient of the honor. “When considering the awardee from all the wonderful volunteers that serve the Land Trust, Parker Lord stood out for his outstanding contributions towards the Land Trust’s mission of preserving and stewarding land of high conservation value in Lyme,” stated Kristina White, executive director of the Lyme Land Trust.
As a resident of the Town of Lyme for most of his adulthood, Parker Lord has been involved in almost every aspect of local land preservation for decades. From advocating for public support of land conservation, plus working with landowners to facilitate acquisition of open space, to doing the hands-on development and maintenance of preserves in Lyme; he has volunteered countless hours. He is an example to us all in his generosity through service, hard work, and leadership. Longtime Lyme Selectman and Chairman of the Town’s Open Space Committee, Parker has nurtured the collaborative spirit between the Town and the Land Trust. In addition, Parker was on the steering committee and is an appointed board member of the Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Watershed Coordinating Committee, is a local history buff, and spearheads volunteers to restore and maintain the Town’s cemeteries.
“He always has a smile on his face, he’s proud of his town and the open space it has to offer and he is a diehard helper-outer!” according to Sue Cope, Environmental Director of the Lyme Land Trust.
Some his many accomplishments:
- He has volunteered at the Tour de Lyme since its beginning 7 years ago.
- He brought to the attention of the Land Trust an abandoned graveyard, Richards Cemetery adjacent to Banningwood, that holds the remains of freed slaves. He helped the Land Trust acquire the piece of land, did extensive research and restored the tombstones.
- He was integral in encouraging Bill Hawthorne to sell his land to the Land Trust which became the Brockway-Hawthorne preserve.
- He and his wife Diana sold what is now Banningwood Preserve to the Land Trust. They have given a charitable gift to support educational programming to instill conservation values and love of nature.
- In Banningwood, he continued to mow all the fields, cut down trees, and redirect a couple of trails that were flooding – doing it all without being asked.
- He took part in the Visionaries documentary, a PBS production about conservation values in Lyme while paddling in his birch bark canoe, which was aired on television.
- He canoed down the entire 400 miles of the CT River in the manner of our forefathers, portaging his canoe over dams, and camping along the way.
- “If he sees something that needs to be done, he does it.” A quote from Wendy Hill, a board member and town of Lyme Open space coordinator and echoed by Sue Cope, our environmental director.
- He has walked the perimeter boundaries of the entire town of Lyme.
- For years, he with his two colleagues have marched in the front of the July 4th parade, in historical garb, and fired their muskets to honor of our Independence.
- He has an excellent sense of direction.