Submitted by Pete Weiss
(September 14, 2023) — The Rockfall Foundation of Middletown proudly announces the recipients of its 2023 Certificates of Environmental Achievement, recognizing exceptional dedication to environmental conservation and
education. This year’s respected awardees are John Ogren, Christine Cummings, and The Macdonough School.
John Ogren’s enduring commitment to understanding and safeguarding the natural world has earned him this award. His instrumental role in acquiring the coastal Ayers Point
property, in collaboration with the Old Saybrook Land Trust, demonstrates unparalleled dedication to habitat preservation. John’s initiatives extend beyond the acquisition, as evidenced by his leadership in osprey platform installations, educational programs, and supporting wildlife rehabilitation efforts. His contributions to
Project Limulus and the mentoring of Eagle Scouts exemplify his genuine dedication to environmental
Christine Cummings, a passionate advocate for wildlife rehabilitation and education, is recognized for her outstanding contributions to environmental stewardship. Through A Place Called Hope (APCH), a non-profit organization she co-founded, Christine has provided critical care and rehabilitation to birds of prey and other avian species. Her work exemplifies her dedication and inspires a deeper understanding of wildlife conservation. Founded in 2007, APCH has become a vital educational platform, emphasizing the importance of coexistence with wildlife. Christine’s tireless efforts in rehabilitating and releasing these creatures demonstrate her unwavering commitment to the environment and its creatures.
The Macdonough School’s profound commitment to environmental sustainability has earned the school
and its students a Certificate of Environmental Achievement. Their initiatives, which transcend beyond the classroom, instill a deep sense of environmental responsibility within their students. From composting programs to collaborations with UConn on indoor air quality improvement,
the school’s efforts set a commendable example for environmental stewardship. Other initiatives include battery recycling, reusable cloth bags for breakfast meals, and innovative hydroponic systems. The school’s dedication to reducing waste, improving air quality, and promoting
sustainable practices sets an admirable standard for educational institutions.
For additional information about the 2023 Environmental Champion Awards, The Rockfall Foundation,
or the October 4, 2023 Awards and Grants Celebration, please visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-
The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education and conservation in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants. Founded in 1935, the Foundation celebrated its 87th anniversary in 2022. In addition, The Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center in Middletown, which offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.