Bonnie Potter Scholarship
The Bolton Conservation Trust offers an annual Bonnie Potter Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for community service in conservation or environmental issues.
It is open to any high school senior — from any high school, but must be a resident of Bolton — planning to attend college.
Applications must include: School Student Information Sheet, School Student Activities Sheet, a list of the conservation activities you have participated in for the past four years, essay (must be on a separate page, single spaced, one page maximum and describe your past volunteer work in conservation or environmental improvement and its relevance to your likely career in science), and a copy of a letter of recommendation from one of the following: guidance counselor, teacher, coach or employer. Click here to download the application form.
The Scholarship is awarded by the Bolton Conservation Trust in honor of the enormous contribution that Bonnie Potter has made to environmental education and conservation of natural resources and land in Bolton and New England. Bonnie has been an extremely active and positive force behind the Bolton Conservation Trust since its founding in 1975 and served as President for many years. She has been a driving force behind many successful land protection efforts in Bolton and has also been the inspiration and implementer of the Trust’s “second mission” – environmental education.
In collaboration with Emerson School and the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, she started the “ELF” (Environmental Learning for the Future) Program in Bolton in 1988. The program, now the Four Winds Nature Program, is part of the curriculum in the Bolton Schools from kindergarten through 5th Grade and is a collaborative program of trained volunteers and the school administration.
Bonnie’s advocacy for environmental education is also reflected in her leadership in establishing and developing the Bolton Conservation Trust Nature Camp, now the Tom Denney Nature Camp. The Camp, started the year after the Trust’s founding as a 2-week program, has expanded progressively to 5 weeks and 250 campers. Many of the campers have become counselors and moved on to environmental education and careers, fulfilling Bonnie’s vision of early environmental experience and education as a vehicle for sustainable environmental awareness and advocacy.
Bonnie’s land and natural resource conservation efforts have included leadership in protecting a number of parcels of land in Bolton. She has also coordinated community service grants for testing water on the Still River and Nashua River by Emerson School students and provided leadership in the certification of vernal pools throughout Bolton under the State’s Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program for protection under the Wetlands Protection Act.
Despite moving to Maine, Bonnie remains active on the Trust’s Board of Directors and continues to be directly involved in Bolton land preservation activities for which the Trust and the community are most appreciative.