2015 BLT Founders’ Award

Judy pic_cropped

presented to Judy Desroshers

for her longtime dedication to community service, education, and deep connection to our natural environment.

Judy Desrochers’s involvement in grassroots environmental advocacy began in 1969, shortly after she moved to West Barnstable and learned of a developer’s plan to fill an abandoned cranberry bog in her neighborhood. That led to her discovery that the Town had no local by-law to protect Barnstable’s wetlands. Taking matters into their own hands, she and other concerned citizens worked to identify vulnerable wetlands and write a by-law proposal, which they brought to Town Meeting. Although the by-law didn’t pass, the experience propelled Judy onto the path of community activism and environmental advocacy.

Judy was a member of the Barnstable Conservation Commission from 1973-1978, a period of rapid growth when conservation lands were expanded and wetland protection became more challenging. She is a longtime member of the West Barnstable Civic Association, having served as both a director and president. A special education teacher, Judy became interested in non-academic factors that impact academic achievement, including childhood experiences with the natural world.

Also influenced by economist E.F. Schumacher’s book, Small is Beautiful, and a visit to Schumacher College in England in the late 90s, Judy returned home and joined the grassroots campaign in 2000 to purchase the Conant Property on Rt. 149 in West Barnstable. Seven years of volunteer activity at the Conant property eventually blossomed into Meetinghouse Farm, Inc., a community-based nonprofit that fosters horticultural and agricultural values and practices.

As Meetinghouse Farm’s president, Judy works with the all-volunteer staff to provide community horticultural programs and gardening opportunities, improve the Farm’s infrastructure, and promote its use by other environmental organizations. In keeping with the nonprofit’s educational mission, the Farm encourages community service opportunities and field trips for students.

We are thrilled to honor Judy Desrochers for her many years of service and advocacy on behalf of the environment and our community. Thank you, Judy!

Barnstable Land Trust annually honors an individual, organization, business or governmental organization who has acted in the spirit of our Founders. The award is given “for having the vision to empower the people of Barnstable to preserve the essence of Cape Cod – its open spaces and natural resources, wetlands, woodlands and wildlife.