At the Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, the Chamber presented their Community Service Organization of the Year award to the Damariscotta River Association (DRA).
The award is given to one organization in the greater Damariscotta region each year “For enhancing the community by adding to the well-being and quality of life in the region.” The presenter noted DRA’s work in educating youth and adults about local natural and cultural history, the organization’s summer day camp, its many properties and miles of trails open to the public, and its community ice skating rink among other community assets they maintain.
In accepting the award, DRA Executive Director Steven Hufnagel remarked, “We are truly honored to receive this award, in particular because it really does reflect the approach we have tried to take in our work as a land trust. We seek not just to conserve land, but to connect our community to the land . . . We’re so pleased to add to the community fabric in all of these ways.”
“My hope is that my two children Audrey and Nathaniel will one day not only want to come back to Damariscotta but will be able to,” Steve mused. “If we continue to invest in our local businesses and talent while conserving our natural resources and thus protecting our competitive advantage, there’s a good chance that they might be able to return home and stay.”