A longtime Johnson official, a homeless shelter and a composting center won the annual Jim Marvin Awards, presented by the Lamoille County Planning Commission.
Since 1992, the awards have honored people, places and sometimes things that exhibit Marvin’s qualities: “dedication, hard work, and contribution to the field of land use planning at the local, regional, and state level.”
“Lamoille County has a great many excellent volunteers,” said Caleb Magoon, chairman of the commission. “Every year, we struggle with having to select only a few for these prestigious awards.”
• The big award, lifetime achievement, went to Johnson resident Eric Osgood.
He has served on the Johnson Select Board for 23 years, 20 as chair; was on the board of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns; and was Johnson’s emergency management director.
Last year, Osgood was named the Northeast States Emergency Consortium’s Emergency Manager of the Year, recognized for organizing the response to an ice jam that flooded the town and turned the rivers into jagged pathways portending worse.
“Eric’s years of service, raw talent, and dedication to community is an argument against the idea of term limits and a goal for others to aspire to in public service,” noted Tasha Wallace, the planning commission’s executive director.
“We do not give this award out every year,” Magoon said, “but Eric epitomizes the legacy of Jim Marvin, and is in a category by himself.”
• The Marvin Award for Excellence in Community Service went to the Lamoille Community House, a mostly-volunteer organization that runs a winter emergency homeless shelter in Hyde Park village.
The shelter provides room for up to 14 adults at a time during the coldest months of the year. Last winter, it served 39 individuals, many more than once, with hot meals, a hot shower and a cot.
It also helped people make physical, dental and mental health appointments, find job training and recovery opportunities, and work with money management and rental information.
• The Marvin Award for Excellence in Project Design went to the Lamoille Soil Compost Facility in Johnson.
Wallis said the facility “represents a unique trifecta of filling a community need, repurposing dormant infrastructure, and meeting the unfunded mandates of Vermont materials management legislation.”
The facility was conceptualized in 2016 when the Lamoille Regional Solid Waste Management District was staring down state requirements to collect food scraps with no real local options to do so.
Hyde Park Elementary School received an honorable mention for project design, for the extensive overhaul of its 1898 building that required that students attend classes for the entire 2017-18 school year at a Morrisville hotel.
Also nominated for the Project Design award were the Fork & Gavel restaurant in Hyde Park village, Smugglers’ Notch Distillery in Jeffersonville, and the unification of Johnson State and Lyndon State colleges into Northern Vermont University.
Beyond the Marvin Awards, the planning commission honored a couple of county organizations for their long-term commitments to their communities.
The Hyde Park Community Circle, founded over 20 years ago, “has been the glue that holds the Hyde Park community together,” Wallis noted.
The circle sponsors four events during the year — a Think Spring event, the Jedediah Hyde Ice Cream Social, Hyde Park Home Day, and Hyde Park Christmas Lighting Ceremony.
The other honor went to Stowe Land Trust, which has worked since 1987 to conserve scenic, recreational and productive farm and forest lands for the benefit of the greater Stowe community.
The land trust has conserved more than 3,500 acres of land in Stowe, Waterbury and Morrisville.