AUGUSTA – Mary Ryan of Wilton is one of six finalists in the 2018 Natural Resources Council of Maine People’s Choice Award.

Anyone may vote for the winner through noon, Sept. 10. Each person may vote only once by calling NRCM Public Affairs and eCommunications Manager Beth Comeau at 430-0106 or visiting

Thirty nominations were submitted. The award recognizes the nominee’s stewardship efforts to protect a special place, help pass legislation supporting Maine’s environment, reduce pollution or other efforts to safeguard Maine’s environment.

Friends of Wilson Lake members Nancy Prince and Holly Windle nominated Ryan. Ryan is a founding member of FOWL and has served on its board of directors since 1990.

She is part of a lake invasive plant monitoring program, has volunteered for two watershed surveys and recorded water clarity data for 30 years. Her camp on the lake was one of the first to be listed as a Lake Smart property, which recognizes owners who work to protect Maine lakes.



Friends of Wilson Lake (FOWL) founding and current board member Mary Ryan is a finalist in the 2018 Natural Resources Council of Maine People’s Choice Award. She is seen when recognized at the 2016 Annual Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program Conference held July 30, 2016, for 30 years of service in monitoring the water quality of Wilson Lake in Wilton. With Ryan was FOWL president Rob Lively. (Franklin Journal File photo)

In 1998 Ryan helped create Foothills Land Conservancy which preserves 238 acres of land and wetlands. Land she helped purchase adjacent to the lake is now open for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

Not included in Ryan’s environmental efforts listed on the NRCM website is her work at Everyone’s Resource Depot at the University of Maine Farmington. She has been the coordinator/consultant there since the spring of 1980.

The Depot is a low-cost source of recycled materials available to students, faculty and the community at large. She supervises the student workers and teaches classes on the creative ways materials from the Depot can be used in classroom settings, the design of holiday decorations, children activities and more.

For more information on the Depot, call 207-778-7150 or visit

The other finalists for the 2018 NRCM People’s Choice Award are Peter Garrett, Winslow; Nancy Hathaway, Surry; Phoebe MacDonald, Portland; Robin Robinson, Brunswick and Steve Weems, Brunswick.

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