HAMPDEN — Well-known naturalist and Hampden resident Judy Kellogg Markowsky was given posthumously a 2011 NRCM Environmental Award for Lifetime Achievement. Markowsky, who died in August, was known and loved for her work as an environmental educator, and for sharing her knowledge of birds, insects, plants and other creatures in the Penobscot River watershed with students of all ages. She also wrote a weekly nature column for The Weekly and the Midcoast Beacon newspapers, published by the Bangor Daily News.
“NRCM gives its Environmental Award to those who have a passion for the nature of Maine, and a willingness to fight the hard fight to protect it,” said council Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann. “Judy Kellogg Markowsky spent much of her life achieving that goal. Her legacy is a gift to the people of Maine, and we are proud to add Judy to NRCM’s list of Environmental Award winners.”
Markowsky, a council member for 25 years, grew up in the Bangor area along the Kenduskeag River and began making her long crusade for the land, water and wildlife of the region in 1987, when she was hired to run Maine Audubon’s Secrets of the Forest program for school children. Along with her fellow volunteers in the Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon, she helped establish the Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden, serving as its director from 1997 to 2009.
Although busy with family, writing, travel and teaching, Markowsky was dedicated to efforts to conserve and restore important natural features in the Penobscot Valley. She played an important role in the campaign to protect the Penjajawoc Marsh in Bangor from development. For decades, Markowsky spoke in defense of the Penobscot River and understood the ecological benefits of reopening more than 1,000 miles of the watershed to Atlantic salmon and other native sea-run fish. She advocated for the project at public meetings and invited the staff of the Penobscot River Restoration Trust to participate in numerous events at Fields Pond.
In 2009, Markowsky was honored with the National Women’s History Project as one of 100 women who showed exceptional vision and leadership in environmental protection. Other honorees included Rachel Carson, Lois Gibbs, Jane Goodall and Dana Meadows.
The Natural Resources Council of Maine presented its Environmental Award at the organization’s annual meeting on Sept. 23 in Augusta to her brother and former council board member Zip Kellogg, who accepted it on behalf of her family members, many of whom were present.
The council gives the award each year to individuals who have made a difference at the local, regional or state level in the protection of Maine’s environment.
At the meeting, Markowsky’s work was acknowledged by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, keynote speaker at the event. Mitchell praised her hard work and dedication to making the world a better place.