Land Trust’s Pailthorpe wins award for conservation efforts

Land Trust’s Pailthorpe wins award for conservation efforts

CUMBERLAND – Joe Pailthorpe, Cumberland’s longtime volunteer land conservation enthusiast, is this year’s winner of the Rhode Island Land Trust Council’s Peter Merritt Award for Land Conservation.

Ruper Friday, executive director of the council, presented the award on March 9 at the 16th annual Land & Water Conservation Summit held at the University of Rhode Island Memorial Union.

Pailthorpe, treasurer of the Cumberland Land Trust and a man who doesn’t miss an opportunity to do volunteer work at the group’s properties around town, said he was excited and proud to become the 19th person to receive the award. He said he never tires of his work.

“It’s my passion,” he said. “This is my second career. We all have time, talent and treasure. I don’t have a lot of treasure, so I put the other two to good use.”

A retired corporate manager at Honeywell, he joked that he shakes everyone else down for their treasure.

More than 300 members of the Rhode Island Land Trust and Rhode Island Blueways Alliance attended the March 9 meeting.

Friday said the award is given each year to an “in the trenches volunteer” who has made an outstanding contribution in the land trust community. It is given in honor of the late Peter Merritt, a founding member, dedicated board member, and second president of Aquidneck Land Trust.

Friday said there were several nominations and choosing just one winner was difficult.

Pailthorpe joined the board of the Cumberland Land Trust in 2002 and has served as the trust’s treasurer since then, he said. When he joined the board, the group had protected 200 acres. Since 2002, he has been very involved in the Land Trust’s protection of many properties and an additional 600 acres.

“Most recently, he was very involved in the protection of the Sisters of Mercy’s Mercy Woods, which is owned by town of Cumberland with stewardship of open space lands delegated to the Land Trust,” Friday said. “Joe keeps an eye on what open space land is available in Cumberland and negotiates deals with landowners and developers to protect important properties.”

Pailthorpe is always looking for new opportunities and new partnerships to protect land and makes sure the town is on board with projects, added Friday. He worked with Brown University and Pawtucket Water Supply Board to protect land in the drinking water supply watershed.

“Joe is as active as anybody, planning and creating trails so that people can enjoy the places that the land trust is protecting,” he said. “Joe isn’t just working on trails on Land Trust property, but also is a driving force behind trails on hundreds of acres of town-owned open space properties.”


You are very deserving of this award. Congratulation!!!!!!

Great job Joe! Appreciate all your efforts for our Town!