December 16, 2021

2021 Ronald Montesi Conservation Recognition Awards

The Ronald Montesi Conservation Recognition award is given to active members of locally-led conservation projects with the District and has gone above and beyond to protect natural resources of Warren County… This year, the District would like to congratulate the following Conservationist: Alex Novich, Lee Braggs and Sarah Hoffman!

Ron Montesi Honoring Jason Monroe in 2017 for the Conservationist of the Year Award

Alex Novich

2021 Ronald Montesi Conservation Recognition Awardee

It is clearly evident through the effort and work that Alex has on the presentation of resources, that he has a passion of the outdoors and conservation.  His work has led to a reduction of erosion problems on Land Conservancy properties which directly positively impacts water quality of Lake George.  Alex is always willing to work at the the West Brook Conservation Initiative to help maintain the site and ensure it treatment effectiveness.

We don’t know if any one individual has done more terrestrial invasive species management than Alex, which includes honeysuckle, purple loosestrife, Japanese knotweed, oriental bittersweet and the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.  Working on LGLC properties, or with the NYSDEC on he spends a considerable amount of time managing these invasive species.

For his efforts and willingness to assist public and private landowners, along with managing the LGLC trails and properties we recognize Alex with a Ronald Montesi Community Conservation Award and know he will continue with his efforts!

  • Protects Water Quality

  • Invasive Species Management and Education

  • Promoting Public Lands and Recreation

  • Trail Steward

Lee Braggs

2021 Ronald Montesi Conservation Recognition Awardee

The District would like to give recognition to Lee Braggs for his initiative in community-led conservation projects. Lee has been a strong leader in many areas of the community which has given him many skillsets over the years. He is originally from Mississippi and decided to set roots in Glens Falls. During his career in Glens Falls, he worked for the State at multiple wastewater treatment plants and for General Electric. Since his retirement, he has devoted an unimaginable amount of time to be involved in various groups in the Glens Falls community. Lee serves on the Board of Trustees for SUNY Adirondack, is a Deacon at a local Baptist Church, is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and has a passion for community agriculture.

The District began hearing about the legendary, Lee Braggs, when he managed a secret community garden on Frederick Street in Glens Falls. He sought out permission from a local landowner that allowed the community gardeners to have an enormous veggie plot on the property. The directions to the “secret garden” consist of parking at the dead-end of Frederick Street, walk down a long wooded trail and suddenly you’re at a huge field of vegetables that is completely hidden from road and neighbors. Lee has always taken the initiative to use his community contacts and resources to have the garden rototilled each year, provide plants and seeds to the folks that needed them, and to make sure everyone could just have a chance garden or just grow something they liked!

After many years at the Frederick Street location (~30 years or something), the property eventually sold and the City of Glens Falls helped relocate the garden to Murray Street. For the last three years, Lee has worked to rebuild the community garden and group, now working with the City to provide an agricultural space for eight gardeners. His community involvement and action to provide agricultural opportunity to the Glens Falls Community is an inspiration and we could not imagine the City without him! Lee has been a pleasure to work with and we look forward to continuing to be a resource in the growth of the Murray Street Community Garden.

  • Community  and Urban Agriculture

  • Promoting Public Space for Agriculture

  • Conservation Practices in Agriculture

Sarah Hoffman

2021 Ronald Montesi Conservation Recognition Awardee

Sarah Hoffman currently serves as the Communications and Outreach Coordinator Communications & Outreach Manager at Lake George Land Conservancy and Macionis Family Center for Conservation. Sarah has a passion to bring people together to accomplish projects. Through her coordination and partnership involvement, the end result is a “job well done”. Although some projects usually get little fanfare, there is absolute solace knowing that a little land protection goes a long way to preserve our amazing water resources.

Most recently, Sarah has reached out to the District office to coordinate a buffer strip planting through our Community Conservation Program at the Jackson Heights Elementary School in Glens Falls. In a very short amount of time she pulled together the administration, partner agencies, resources & materials and all of the volunteers for a very successful project.  This planting project will serve as a resource for educational lessons in the classrooms as well as reinforce the importance of stormwater management and good stewardship practices in the community.

Her relentless passion has her constantly pairing funding opportunities with partner agencies and project locations to benefit the communities we live in. Sarah’s work fosters the generosity and passion of an individual who truly loves our great region and seeks out opportunities to preserve the quality of these resources for future generations.

Sarah Hoffman is more than deserving of the Ronald Montesi Award as a member of our community who is always involved in conservation.

  • Preservation of Land

  • Community Conservation

  • Conservation Education for Kids and Adults