Annual Conservation Excellence Honorees Recognized by The Nature Conservancy

Retired N.H. Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Tom Burack and Worthen Industries are among the recipients of the Conservancy’s 2017 conservation awards.

Concord, NH | March 19, 2018

The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire has named the recipients of its 2017 awards for conservation excellence. 

The Conservancy presents these awards annually to recognize individuals, organizations and agencies that have made remarkable contributions to the Conservancy’s mission and to conservation in New Hampshire. 

“From lending a strong voice in support of clean energy solutions to coordinating robust volunteer efforts of all shapes and sizes, the contributions this year’s recipients have made to conservation in the Granite State are exceptional and diverse, and we are grateful for them,” said Mark Zankel, state director of The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire. “With these annual awards, we proudly recognize individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to ensure a vibrant, sustainable future for nature and people in New Hampshire.” 

The 2017 awards and recipients are below. Photos and caption information can be found at 

CONSERVATION LEADERSHIP: Given to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in helping advance the Conservancy’s mission in New Hampshire and beyond. 

Tom Burack — In the decade he served as commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES), Burack was a champion for nature in New Hampshire. Burack was an exceptionally effective leader at the department, focusing on streamlining and enhancing its business processes, ensuring strong environmental performance, and improving staff culture and morale. Under Burack’s leadership, NH DES advanced the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and completion of the New Hampshire Climate Action Plan. Throughout his time at NH DES, Burack maintained a reputation as a fair, even-keeled, high-integrity commissioner who demonstrated a firm commitment to the belief that New Hampshire can and must advance environmental protection, public health, and economic development, and that these values do not need to come at the expense of one another. 


CONSERVATION PARTNER: Given to an organization that collaborated effectively with the Conservancy and demonstrated strong commitment to safeguarding important resources.

Nature Groupie and Coastal Research Volunteers — Formerly known as the Stewardship Network: New England, Nature Groupie and the Coastal Research Volunteers have been instrumental in volunteer recruitment and management for The Nature Conservancy’s many volunteer opportunities, including its Oyster Conservationist Program, which focused on restoring oysters in the Great Bay Estuary. From organizing groups to count oysters to engaging middle school students, Nature Groupie and the Coastal Research Volunteers excel at helping organizations recruit, manage and engage volunteers. They exhibit great creativity in promoting citizen science and serve as a clearinghouse for environmental volunteer opportunities across the state. 

Worthen Industries — Worthen Industries is a 150-year-old family-owned manufacturing company headquartered in Nashua and focused on developing high-quality adhesives, coatings, extruded films, and laminated products. Worthen Industries has been a leading voice among New Hampshire businesses on the need to advance a clean energy future and is an important partner with the Conservancy on its clean energy program. In addition to advocacy, Worthen Industries has worked hard to meet sustainability goals within their operations—including investing in solar, reducing waste in their processes, and converting their fleet to fuel efficient vehicles.


VOLUNTEER EXCELLENCE: Given to one or more volunteers who have demonstrated a standard of excellence in their commitment to the Conservancy’s work in New Hampshire and beyond.  

Hailey Nase  As a volunteer easement monitoring intern, Nase contributed more than 200 hours in 2017 and was a valuable member of the Conservancy’s land stewardship team. A junior at Ithaca College, Nase is pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. Over the course of the field season, she monitored 19 conservation easements covering more than 3,000 acres. Monitoring and enforcing those easements is an essential part of upholding the public trust that has been placed in the organization, and Nase’s contributions have been critical to accomplishing the stewardship of the Conservancy’s conservation lands. 

Gail Page — Page has proven herself to be an indispensable volunteer in the Conservancy’s Concord office. Volunteering for the Conservancy since the 1990s in a variety of capacities, she now comes in regularly to scan and organize documents as part of the organization’s efforts to reduce its volume of paper files, convert paper to digital assets and achieve its file reduction goals. Page’s dedication to these tasks, coupled with her attention to detail, will enable the Conservancy to abide by the organization’s Records Retention Policy.





The Nature Conservancy works in New Hampshire and around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, and using a collaborative approach that is grounded in the needs of our state and local communities, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. In New Hampshire, the Conservancy has helped protect more than 290,000 acres of forests, fields and natural areas, along with 680 miles of shoreline and river frontage. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

James Miller
Associate Director, Communications


Stay Updated

Learn about the places you love and find out how you can help by signing up for Nature eNews.

I'm already on the list Read our privacy policy

Thank you for joining our online community!

We'll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates, and exciting stories.