The award is given annually to Vermonters who have made extraordinary contributions in the areas of land conservation and/or historic preservation.
Collectively Bruhn and Dopp have dedicated more than 60 years to conserving the land and preserving the historic structures of Vermont, Bruhn with his nationally recognized leadership of the Preservation Trust of Vermont and Dopp with her dedication to grassroots conservation and preservation initiatives in Chittenden County. Both clearly fit the profile of past Hildene Award honorees, Senator James Jeffords, Darby Bradley, Linda Ramsdell and Andrea Rogers. The collective work of past and present recipients is the embodiment of Hildene's mission, Values into Action.
The introductory remarks of those celebrating the accomplishments of Dopp and Bruhn were retrospective and forward thinking, thoughtful and thought provoking. During his introduction, Mark Hudson, Executive Director of the Vermont Historical Society, highlighted honoree, Dopp's decades of service to the Historical Society's board, her founding of the South Burlington Land Trust in 2003 and her preservation work with First Baptist Church of Burlington.
Peter Brink, past Senior Vice-President for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and current Chair of the Board of the Preservation Trust of Vermont Trust, introduced Paul Bruhn.He noted that Bruhn, not only founded the Preservation Trust of Vermont (PTV), but he has also successfully led the organization for more than three decades. During this time PTV has been the catalyst for much of Vermont's success in keeping village centers and downtowns intact and vital, while also providing community preservationists with a place to turn for advice and support.
Given annually, the Hildene Award has two key components: In addition to honoring the recipient's achievement, the award includes a $10,000 prize which the recipient(s) then gives to a deserving non-profit project in Vermont of his/her choosing and for which $10,000 would make a real difference.
After receiving their awards, this year's honorees announced that they would direct the $10,000 prize to Vermont Marble Museum in Proctor, Vermont. Ina Smith-Johnson, secretary of the museum's board, happened to be in attendance, and was stunned to learn that they were the recipient. "The museum holds an important part of Vermont's history and has great potential. To make it work, we'll need the support of many and this $10,000 award from Hildene, and Sarah and Paul, is a big step toward accomplishing our goal of acquiring the museum."
The event concluded at the Hildene Award trailhead that begins near the front of the Lincolns' home.
After recognizing the hard work of trustees and staff, Hildene Executive Director, Seth Bongartz unveiled trail cairn markers for Dopp and Bruhn, adding to those honored in years past.
To learn more about Hildene, go to www.hildene.org or visit Hildene on Facebook.