Ripton environmental leader tapped for Art Gibb award
MIDDLEBURY — Vermont Natural Resource Council will present this year’s Arthur Gibb Award for Individual Leadership to Ripton resident Warren King, a lifelong conservationist, at VNRC’s annual meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21, at The Kirk Alumni Center at Middlebury College.
King will be celebrated for the remarkable creativity, compassion, and energy he has brought to his work with Audubon Vermont, Vermont Nature Conservancy, Ripton’s Planning and Conservation Commissions, New England Wildflower Society, and more, in service of Vermont’s natural resources and communities.
“Warren King epitomizes how the practice of taking local action can help address global challenges,” said VNRC Executive Director Brian Shupe. “King’s work has rippled across the state to better inform public policy and local action on a range of initiatives that have deeply impacted Vermont communities and our environment for the better.”
The award will be co-presented by author, educator and environmentalist Bill McKibben, also a Ripton resident, and member of VNRC’s Advisory Committee. In his book “Wandering Home,” McKibben noted that King and his wife, Barry, are the “sort of people who make a place tick — there’s not a good civic work in which they’re not implicated … [and they are] governed by common sense and a dose of wry humility.”
King moved to Vermont in 1989, after serving as the executive assistant of the Smithsonian Institution’s International Council for Bird Preservation and chairing the U.S. section of the council, but his roots in Vermont go back to his time as staff at Camp Keewaydin of Lake Dunmore in the 1960s, where he helped lead canoe trips into Quebec.
Laurie Cox, chair of the Ripton Selectboard, wrote in her nomination of King, “Warren’s commitment to leading our town — our community — in a positive direction is deeply based, long lived, and vigorously worked at. He is a leader and … he has consistently sought to involve people who represent a range of opinions to ensure the wider community is represented in the process while aiming for consensus … He will share his knowledge, he will share his ideas, and he will share the recognition for success.”
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 of Weybridge, and who has made a lasting contribution to his or her community, region or state in advancing smart growth policies.
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