Friends Network Recognition Awards

Announcing the 2018 Friends Network Volunteer of the Year

and the DCR Friend of the Year!

View the nominations here

The Friends Network Volunteer of the Year Award is bestowed upon an individual or group who deserves special recognition for extraordinary work on behalf of DCR forests, parks, beaches or trails. Volunteers who qualify for the Friends Network Volunteer of the Year Award may have:

  • Developed or maintained a program
  • Maintained grounds/facilities
  • Helped preserve cultural and/or natural resources/wildlife
  • Recruited new volunteers
  • Assisted in growing and developing the group’s community profile
  • Engaged new members and sponsors
  • Demonstrated outstanding leadership
Kathy Johnson, Friends of Alewife Reservation
Lynn Paresky, Bay State Trail Riders Association

The Friends Network DCR Friend of the Year Award is presented yearly to Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) employees or agencies that have demonstrated exemplary effort on behalf of Massachusetts’ forests, parks, beaches and trails, or Friends groups. All DCR employees are eligible for this award. The award is based on excellence in the following areas:

  • Work Performance
  • Judgment
  • Initiative
  • Integrity
  • Support for Friends Groups
  • Citizen/Community Relations
Jody Madden, the Forest and Park Supervisor, Upton State Forest
Chris Bruno, Manuel F. Correllus State Forest Superintendent


Friends Award 2017

The Award of Appreciation presented to: Jennifer Norwood, Director of the Office of Public Private Partnerships, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in thanks for her (and the EEA’s) support of the Friends Network 2016-2017.


Photo left: Friends Network Facilitators Mike Toomey and Sharl Heller present the Award of Appreciation to Jennifer Norwood (center) Photo Right: Friends of the Alewife Reservation (FAR) and Mike Toomey present an original artwork to Jennifer, photo donated by FAR

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Friends Awards 2016


Friends Awards 2015


Friends Awards 2014


Friends Awards 2013


Friends Awards 2012

Ron Clough, Supervisor of the F. Gilbert Hills State Forest, atop Dolmen Rock at the F. Gilbert Hills State Forest. Ron Clough Nomination

Alexandra “Ale” Echandi, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Natural Resources Specialist Alexandra Echandi Nomination

Captain Jennifer Stowe, Bureau of Ranger Services, DCR (and the DCR Rescue Dog Emmitt Francis) Captain Jennifer Stowe Nomination.

DCR Commissioner Edward Lambert and National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) President and DCR Assistant Commissioner and Director of Parks Priscilla Geigis present the National Association of State Park Directors Award to Friends of Upton State Forest Ellen Arnold.

Friends Network 2012 Volunteer of the Year Awards

John Sheehan  —   Friends of the Blue Hills Reservation

Ellen Mass — Friends of Alewife Reservation

Tufts FOCUS Students  — FOCUS — Friends of Alewife Reservation


Friends Awards 2011

Recipients were recognized at the Friends Network Conference, October 22, 2011.

The Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network Volunteers of the Year.

  • Paul Loiselle (photo top left with Linda Loiselle and Friends of Scusset Beach Secretary Linda Porazzo)
  • Nan Finkenaur
  • Dr. Manuel Luciano da Silva

Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network 2011 Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Friends of the Year

  • John De Costa, Park Supervisor of Scusset Beach Reservation
  • Alec Gillman, Mount Greylock State Reservation, DCR CCC Program Committee Coordinator
  • Tim Rayworth, Northeast Region, Member DCR CCC Program Committee (photo above on right) with Friends Network Facilitator Ellen Arnold
  • Timothy Zelazo, District Manager, North Berkshire District
  • The DCR Civilian Conservation Corps Program Committee.


Friends Awards October 24, 2009

Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network
Volunteer of the Year. 

Claudia Hurley—Why Claudia Hurley received the award (as written by her nominators, the Friends of Robinson State Park):

  • Beneficial in creating the image that “We” the people will not give up on the forestry issues in the State
  • Saving our open space is so important to her it’s become her full time job, including overtime and all with out pay
  • Investigating and researching, reaching out to various experts for answers
  • Willingness to listen to all perspectives and interest groups (including state officials and private forestry interests) has contributed enormously to the DCR Forest Vision and changes in DCR’s land management approach
  • Helped start the Friends of Robinson State Park