NRCM news release
Augusta, ME – Evelyn Dunphy of West Bath was chosen as the winner of the 2009 Natural Resources Council of Maine People’s Choice Award, for her work protecting Maine’s wilderness areas, particularly Katahdin Lake.
NRCM’s People’s Choice Award is bestowed each year to an individual or group whose actions have made a real difference in the protection of Maine’s environment. This Award provides an opportunity for citizens across the state to nominate someone in their community who has worked selflessly to protect a special place or in other ways has made a difference.
From dozens of nominations, Evelyn rose quickly to the top as one of five finalists, and from there the votes poured in, in record numbers, from as far away as Australia.
“Evelyn is unique among our award winners because she is not only a strong activist, she is also a celebrated artist,” says Brownie Carson, executive director of NRCM. “We are fortunate that Evelyn has decided to use her talent as an artist to highlight the beauty and special qualities of Maine’s wilderness areas. In doing so, not only does she help bring awareness of these natural treasures and our need to protect them, but she also shows us, with her artist’s eye, why we must.”
Over and over again, NRCM heard from those who voted for Dunphy, about how much her artistic advocacy made a difference for one issue in particular, Katahdin Lake. An innovative agreement among landowners, state agencies, and wilderness advocates led to acquisition of 4,000 acres around the lake, including the last remaining parcel in Governor Percival Baxter’s vision for Baxter State Park.
In the words of one of Evelyn’s fans, “I can say without hesitation that Evelyn is a remarkable human being who served as a bridge between the artist community and the land conservation community. Her heart, commitment, and creativity were the critical ingredient to the successful completion of that campaign and Maine is indeed lucky to have her as an artistic ambassador of land conservation.”
This year, Evelyn was selected to be the first Baxter State Park “Visiting Artist,” and her stunning interpretations of Maine’s wild landscapes have received numerous awards, been featured in juried exhibitions and magazines, and hang in congressional and state office buildings.
“To paraphrase one of her supporters,” says Carson, “’Evelyn’s work, enthusiasm, and energy have moved mountains.’ We trust that she will move many more, and it is our honor to present Evelyn Dunphy the 2009 People’s Choice Award.”