Prestigious Award Honors Vermonters Helping Wildlife and Natural Areas to Thrive
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Seeking to honor a leading Vermont environmentalist and the legacy of a legendary wildlife advocate, Green Mountain Power (GMP) is calling for nominations for the 13th annual GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award.
Named for famed osprey advocate Meeri Zetterstrom, the award is given to one person, business, group, or non-profit that has made a significant contribution to Vermont’s environment. The award includes a $2,500 donation to the winner’s environmental cause.
“Meeri’s legacy can be seen throughout Vermont each spring, as ospreys, once virtually extinct here, raise young on some of the most beautiful waterways in the country,” said GMP Vice President Steve Costello, who worked closely with Zetterstrom for years. “Every osprey in Vermont is a reminder that one person or organization can have an outsized impact on the environment and inspire others to protect it.”
Thanks in part to Zetterstrom’s leadership, ospreys were removed from the endangered species list in 2005, and the Zetterstrom Award was created shortly before she died in 2010.
Nominations for the GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award will be accepted through Feb. 28, 2022, and the winner will be announced in early spring. You’ll find the nomination application and more information on GMP’s website.
Zetterstrom, a passionate wildlife advocate, was a key leader in a statewide initiative to restore ospreys in Vermont. Despite long odds, indifference by others, and years of effort without success, Zetterstrom was an impassioned advocate who remained focused on her goal.
Zetterstrom lived in a small cabin with a bird’s-eye view of Lake Arrowhead in Milton, and in the 1980s was among the first to notice when a couple of ospreys returned to fish the lake’s waters after their near extinction in Vermont in the 1940s. Her vision, collaboration and leadership prompted utilities, the state, and private landowners to work together, and ultimately led to ospreys’ resurgence over the next 25 years.
Past GMP-Zetterstrom Award Winners
- 2010, Sally Laughlin, a scientist whose work was instrumental in restoring three species of endangered birds in Vermont
- 2011, Michael Smith, the founder of Rutland’s Pine Hill Park
- 2012, Margaret Fowle, who led Vermont’s peregrine falcon restoration program
- 2013, The Lake Champlain Committee, which works to protect and improve Lake Champlain
- 2014, Kelly Stettner, who founded the Black River Action Team in southern Vermont
- 2015, Roy Pilcher, founder of the Rutland County Chapter of Audubon
- 2016, Lake Champlain International, a nonprofit working to protect, restore and revitalize Lake Champlain and its communities
- 2017, Marty Illick of the Lewis Creek Association
- 2018, Steve Parren, a biologist for the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
- 2019, Eric Hanson, a biologist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, who helped save endangered loons in Vermont
- 2020, Brian Lowe, who has helped hundreds of American kestrels successfully hatch and fledge in Vermont over two decades
- 2021, Angella Gibbons, who founded EarthWalk Vermont
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power serves approximately 270,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective, and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. GMP earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list four years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). In 2021, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation, and in 2019 GMP earned the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award from the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine.
Kristin Kelly, Green Mountain Power
Every osprey in Vermont is a reminder that one person or organization can have an outsized impact on the environment and inspire others to protect it.Steve Costello, Vice President