Dustin CroppedThere is a changing of the guard here at Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance. Program Manager since November of 2010, Dustin Johnson, has opened his own business, Gneiss Brewing Company in Limerick, Maine. AWWA’s successes have been brought to a new level by Dustin’s enthusiasm, keen science understanding and fascination with all things water. Under his management the Youth Conservation Corps installed 314 erosion control measures on 66 properties in the Acton Wakefield region. Dustin made an additional 111 Technical Assistance visits to homeowners to show them how to make their properties lake friendly using his custom designed plans. He worked with sound science, wit and warmth to convey the message that what we do on land has an impact on the quality of water in our lakes.

Be GneissDustin took charge of our outreach educational program in the Paul School and Acton Elementary School by developing curricula which delighted the students with engaging lessons.  His computer expertise reached new audiences via Facebook and Twitter and his winter blogs on these social media and AWWA’s website (Awwatersheds.org) gave us all a glimpse into our water in a new way.

Sam2010Though Dustin leaves big shoes to fill, we are happy to announce that Sam Wilson is up to the task. Sam joined AWWA in 2005, our first year, as a crew member for pilot projects on Pine River Pond and Great East Lake. He returned as a crew member in 2006 and 2008, and became Crew Leader in 2010, ‘11 and ‘12.  In early 2013, Sam was appointed Project Assistant to work with and learn from Dustin in preparation for his transition to the Program Manager position when Dustin departed.

Sam graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Natural Resources with a focus on natural resource planning. Sam2013 CroppedWhile at UVM, he worked for the UVM Watershed Alliance giving watershed education lessons to students statewide. According to Sam, “Being able to come back and make a positive difference in my hometown is why I am so committed to working with AWWA. I have spent so much of my life doing this work I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”

Transitions are a time to grow and all of us at AWWA are glad that Dustin is fulfilling his dream and that we have the capable and enthusiastic Sam to fill his shoes. Onward!