2018 Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards

2017 Award Winners

On Saturday, June 24, Aquarion Water Company announced the winners of its fourth annual Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards at a ceremony held at the Seashell Oceanfront Pavilion in Hampton, New Hampshire.

And The Winners Are:

Business Category – Waste Management of New Hampshire – Rochester, NH
New Hampshire State Senator Dan Innis (right) presented the Aquarion Environmental Champion Award in the Business Category to Bob Magnusson of Waste Management of New Hampshire.

Waste Management has been an industry leader for more than thirty years in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the collection and reuse of methane generated through landfills. Their process harnesses the benefits of methane and prevents its reuptake into the atmosphere. Waste Management's two landfill gas recovery units generate electricity for onsite use. Any surplus energy is exported to the local electric grid. In 2007, Waste Management collaborated with the University of New Hampshire’s Durham Campus on the “Eco-Line Project,” a 12-mile pipeline between Waste Management’s TREE facility in Rochester and the UNH Durham Campus which currently provides 65% of UNH’s heating, cooling and electricity needs. Serving businesses and communities from southern Maine to northeastern Massachusetts, Waste Management of New Hampshire is one of the nation’s largest recycling companies. In 2016, they recycled more than 22,900 tons of materials in New Hampshire alone. Waste Management of New Hampshire has not only focused on landfill gas re-use and recycling, but also on issues relating to wildlife conservation. They have preserved 35 acres of their property along the Cocheco River with a conservation easement maintained by the Southeast Land Trust. This area includes more than 2,800 feet of frontage on the river as well as a mix of wetland and upland areas which provide a highly diverse habitat for plants and animals.


Non-Profit Category – Friends of Bicentennial Park – Hampton, NH

Carl McMorran, Operations Manager for Aquarion Water Company of New Hampshire (right) presented the Aquarion Environmental Champion Award in the Non-Profit Category to Linda Gebhart of Friends of Bicentennial Park.

When Hampton Beach Beautification Committee members Linda Gebhart and Geannina Guzman-Scanlan adopted Bicentennial Park in 2008, it was a neglected and thicketed esplanade along the North Beach Byway in Hampton, entangled with poison ivy and bitter sweet vines. The one-acre, town-owned park was dedicated in April 1975 by the Hampton American Revolution Bicentennial Committee, but by the early 2000s, the group responsible for its upkeep had disbanded. What began as a project by the Beautification Committee to plant a garden and 11trees in a traffic island on Route 1A soon extended to the historic park. The Friends of Bicentennial Park enlisted the help of community volunteers, including Rotary Club members, Boy Scouts, and students at Winnacunnett High School, who worked tirelessly to revitalize the grounds. Their improvements include a paved pathway from the sidewalk into the park to limit foot traffic erosion and storm run-off, a butterfly garden of black-eyed susans, and the planting of sixteen shrubs, an elm tree, lilacs, and much more. Over eight years, they’ve spent 2,000 hours on renovations and raised $2,100 in donations.

Adult Category – Les Mills – Hebron, NH

Gene Forbes, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service’s Water Division Director (right) presented the Aquarion Environmental Champion Award in the Adult Category to Les Mills.

Les Mills has been a volunteer of the Newfound Lake Region Association for five years and for the past four, he has been Volunteer Captain of educational NRLA Eco-tours. The NRLA has benefitted greatly from his knowledge, he is always willing to help out with the Association’s conservation property. Les represents the Association with great composure and integrity. As the designated Land Steward of Grey Rocks conservation area, a waterfront park with a 1.5 miles trail system at the north end of Newfound Lake in Hebron, Les cleans and maintains the grounds at Grey Rocks for public usage.

Student Category – Colin Canton – Groveton, NH  

John Walsh, Vice President of Operations in CT, MA & NH for Aquarion Water Company (right) presented the Aquarion Environmental Champion Award in the Student Category to Colin Canton.

Colin Canton is a recent graduate of Groveton High School. While a Groveton Eagle, this young man was an honors student, a guard on the basketball team, and a track & field team member. In addition, he founded a “green club” at Groveton, which encourages students and staff members to recycle. He took this a step further by personally travelling throughout Groveton and collecting eight truck-beds worth of recyclables from the surrounding neighborhood. As a result of his efforts, Colin has collected one thousand two hundred pounds of white paper, and over three thousand pounds of total recyclables in 12 months. Colin will continue his commitment to environmental stewardship at Plymouth State University, where he will pursue a degree in Environmental Science.