Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation elects seven new board members
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF) is pleased to announce the election of seven new board members. In making this announcement Bob McIntosh, board president, noted “the Foundation is well positioned to expand its board as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway’s designation as a National Wild Scenic River. These new members will bring specialized skills, local knowledge, and range of experiences with the Waterway that will significantly benefit the Foundation in the years to come.”
The seven new members joining the existing AWWF board are:
- Kaitlyn Bernard, Gray, The Nature Conservancy In Maine
- Thomas Gerard, Madawaska, Madawaska Middle High School
- Chace Joe Jackson, Allagash, American Heart Association in Maine
- Jana L. Kenney, Westbrook, Richardson, Whitman, Large & Badger
- Leslie Marquis, Fort Kent, Fort Kent Middle High School
- Jason Perkins, North Yarmouth, Allagash Brewing Company and
- Jenny Ward, Greenville Junction, Appalachian Mountain Club in Maine
Their terms began their terms on July 1.
AWWF also appointed Alexandra Conover Bennett, Willimantic, North Woods Ways, to be Foundation’s first “Advisor to the Board.”
Ward is the business & community relations manager for the AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative. A graduate of the University of Maine and senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, she was instrumental in the successful launch of AMC’s Medawisla Lodge & Cabins and the current effort around creating the Maine Woods International Dark Sky Reserve. She is a Registered Maine Guide and serves on the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, First Light Learning Journey, coordinator for Moosehead Trails and is currently a county advisor for the Maine Community Foundation. She also volunteers for numerous conservation and community projects. In her free time she loves to trail run, cross country ski and explore the landscape of her life.
Conover Bennett is a Master Registered Maine Guide and co-owner of North Woods Ways with Garrett Conover since 1978, leading year round canoeing and snowshoeing trips in the wildest regions of Maine and Labrador. She has snowshoed the length of the Allagash upriver and down twice and guided our guests on summer and winter camping trips there for decades. She is currently on the Advisory Board of Friends of Baxter State Park and has served in an advisory capacity on a variety of the State’s Bureau of Parks and Lands committees over the decades.
During the annual meeting, board members reviewed the significant progress and growth of the organization over the past fiscal year and highlighted several larger initiatives. The Foundation continues to offer Allagash experiences for youth in the St. John Valley and organized two multi-day trips in the fall of 2019. This spring, AWWF published Allagash Explorer, a Take-Along Companion to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in collaboration with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.
This summer, the Foundation, again in collaboration with the Maine’s BPL, has engaged noted Maine ecologist Janet McMahon to begin work on a multi-year natural resources inventory and assessment of the Allagash.
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created in 2012 to enhance the wilderness character of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, protect its environment, preserve its historic and cultural values and foster knowledge and understanding of the Waterway.
The AWWF fulfills its mission by raising funds from private and public sources that supplement, not replace, necessary and appropriate state and federal funding. It supports:
- Youth access to the experience of this unique and remote public resource;
- Acquisition of critical lands and/or easements along the watercourse;
- Necessary capital improvements and infrastructure development and restoration;
- Natural, historic, and cultural interpretation and public educational programming; and
- Research, planning, and demonstration projects to strengthen the management, use and experience of the Waterway.