Ecological landscaper wins 2014 Arthur Gibb Award

HINESBURG — Andrea Morgante of Hinesburg will be recognized with an award next week for her significant conservation efforts.
Morgante — who runs a landscaping business, designing and constructing landscapes that incorporate ecological principles and traditional garden design — is a founding member of the Lewis Creek Association as well as the Hinesburg Land Trust.
Morgante will officially receive the Art Gibb Award for Individual Leadership from the Vermont Natural Resources Council at VNRC’s annual meeting Thursday evening, Sept. 18 at the Old Lantern Inn and Barn in Charlotte.
“Andrea is a tireless advocate for natural resources and strong communities who has been able to build bridges among many different constituencies,” said Brian Shupe, VNRC’s executive director. “She doesn’t seek the spotlight, but she’s been extremely effective in her advocacy work.”
“Andrea is always looking for solutions that are better than just the norm,” said Marty Illick, the executive director of the Lewis Creek Association. “She is not afraid to solve the problem in a more creative way if it’s fair for everybody. Sometimes you need to push for the best approach, not just the medium or business-as-usual approach. That’s something Andrea does.”
“Andrea is a person of integrity,” said Missy Ross, Hinesburg’s town clerk. “She’s completely honest and straightforward, and steadfast. She doesn’t give up once she’s taken something on — she just keeps organizing and working. She definitely earns the respect of people with a wide range of viewpoints,” she said.
“Anyone who knows Andrea, knows that she is a dynamo with boundless energy for any worthwhile task,” said Alex Weinhagen, Hinesburg’s director of planning and zoning.
Morgante has organized, designed and implemented several river and wetland restoration projects that have included geomorphic assessments, the planting of thousands of native trees, and the installation of bioengineered structures. She has also worked with the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District on the installation of two demonstration private gardens in South Burlington.
The Arthur Gibb award has been given since 2006 to a Vermont resident who embodies qualities similar to those of the late Arthur “Art” Gibb, and who has made a lasting contribution to their community, region or state in advancing smart growth policies.
First elected to the Vermont Legislature in 1962, Gibb was deeply involved in passing legislation to ban billboards, enact the state’s bottle deposit law, regulate junkyards and modernize statutes governing local and regional planning. He served on the commission that laid the groundwork for Act 250 and served 12 years on the Vermont Environmental Board, including one year as Chair.
Previous recipients of the award include Bob Klein, long-time director of the Vermont chapter of the Nature Conservancy; John Ewing, long-time smart growth advocate and co-founder of the Vermont Forum on Sprawl (later known as Smart Growth Vermont); Gus Seelig, executive director of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board; Rob Woolmington, attorney, Witten, Woolmington & Campbell; Paul Bruhn, executive director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont; Robert Lloyd, Tinmouth, retired; and Connie Snow, executive director of the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust.
For more information about the Vermont Natural Resources Council visit vnrc.org.

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