Ms. Hughes was jointly nominated, unbeknownst to her, by the Ipswich Conservation Commission and the North Andover Conservation Commission for her devotion and hard work over many years of service. In recognizing Ms. Hughes, MACC stated, “Jennifer Hughes is being honored as Conservation Commissioner and Administrator of the year for her longstanding and dedicated work as the Town of North Andover conservation administrator and as Town of Ipswich conservation commissioner. Jennifer has served on the Ipswich Conservation Commission since 1998 (Chair since 2012), and as the Conservation Administrator in North Andover since 2008. In her role on the Ipswich Conservation Commission, Jennifer is described as focused, a dedicated leader, fair, unbiased and consistent in her decision making, pragmatic, knowledgeable, cool under fire, and a passionate and talented professional. One of the Ipswich Commissioners wrote, ‘As chair of the commission, Jen has provided firm leadership of and guidance to the commission in all matters procedural, technical and scientific, has managed our meetings and attendant public firmly, sympathetically, politely and with the utmost respect for all participants.’ She has worked with the Commission on a number of challenging development projects, and on management plans for the town’s open space. She is a member of the Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists, a board member on the MA Society of Municipal Conservation Professionals, and a member of MACC. She is currently assisting MACC as a committee member developing our new commissioner orientation program. MACC is delighted to recognize Jennifer for her long and ongoing service and dedication to the environment, conservation, open space, participation in the civic life of two communities, and for her many success working on and with her conservation commissions.”
On Saturday, MACC also celebrated 60 years as an organization that supports local conservation commissions, and highlighted the year in which each town in the Commonwealth established a local Conservation Commission. These local appointed, volunteer commissions implement a state law, the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, at the local level. It was noted that, on March 3, 1958, Ipswich was the first town to establish a conservation commission. As such, next year the Ipswich Conservation Commission will celebrate their 60th anniversary protecting wetlands and wildlife in Ipswich.