GMP seeks nominees for 2015 Zetterstrom Award

15 January 2015

Green Mountain Power is seeking nominations for the 2015 GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award, named for famed osprey advocate Meeri Zetterstrom. The GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award is presented annually to the person, business, group or non-profit who has made a significant and lasting contribution to Vermont’s environment. The recipient is also awarded a $2,500 donation to the environmental cause of their choice.

“The Zetterstrom Award has recognized some of Vermont’s leading environmental stewards and innovators,” GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said.  “Its purpose is to recognize those who make a substantial and unique contribution to our environment, and to honor our friend Meeri’s legacy of vision and leadership.”

Zetterstrom, known to many Vermonters as Grandma Osprey, inspired a statewide public-private collaboration that restored ospreys in Vermont and ultimately led to the birds’ removal from the endangered species list.

“Meeri’s passion and doggedness were unbridled,” said Steve Costello, a GMP vice president who worked with Zetterstrom for more than 15 years.  “She committed her life to osprey restoration and education, and raised Vermonters’ awareness of the entire web of life and how society affects it.  She was an inspiration.”

Living in a small cabin with a bird’s-eye view of Lake Arrowhead, Zetterstrom was among the first to notice in the 1980s when ospreys returned to fish the lake’s waters after their near extinction in Vermont in the 1940s.  Starting at Zetterstrom’s behest in 1988, artificial nesting platforms, buffer zones and educational materials were used to support the bird’s recovery.

Ten years later, the first osprey chick in decades hatched in Vermont, followed by dozens more over the next seven years.  The birds were removed from the Vermont Endangered Species List in 2005. 

Past Zetterstrom Award recipients include Sally Laughlin, a leading wildlife advocate and scientist whose work was instrumental in restoring three species of endangered birds in Vermont; Michael Smith, the founder of Rutland’s Pine Hill Park; Margaret Fowle, who led Vermont’s peregrine falcon restoration program; the Lake Champlain Committee, which works to protect and improve Lake Champlain; and Kelly Stettner, who founded the Black River Action Team in southern Vermont.

Nominations for the GMP-Zetterstrom Environmental Award are accepted through March 15, and the winner will be announced in the spring.  The winner is chosen by a panel of GMP employees with responsibilities related to land management, resource protection, community relations and education, and environmental compliance. 

The award is intended to support environmental protection and inspire Vermonters to continue the good work that is being done all across Vermont to protect our natural environment. Vermonters of any age may be nominated.  For a nomination application and more information, visit www.greenmountainpower.com.

About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power serves approximately 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and has a vision to be the best small company in America by partnering with Vermonters to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. In 2014, Vote Solar named GMP a Solar Champion. More information at: www.greenmountainpower.com. Connect with GMP on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GreenMtnPower.


Contact: Steve Costello: (802) 793-4031