BOONTON, NJ—On February 5, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey hosted their annual celebratory luncheon to recognize the Rosalie Lavinthal Volunteer of the Year. This year’s honoree is Christie Whitehouse of Sparta, a longtime and enthusiastic supporter of the organization. 

It would be hard to find a more dedicated volunteer than Christie Whitehouse, a former teacher who started out as a donor to The Land Conservancy in 1997, supporting the scholarship fund and then proceeding to sit on the scholarship committee, which oversees the application process and chooses two environmental students each year to receive awards. After a few years of participating in Land Conservancy activities, Whitehouse expressed an interest in becoming more involved, and since 2008 she has devoted an impressive amount of time to helping out with everything from events like the golf outing, mailings, and organizational projects—even gardening at WildAcres, where The Land Conservancy has its headquarters. Her cheerful demeanor and willingness to help out with any task—no matter how small—make her an ideal choice for 2019’s Rosalie Lavinthal Volunteer of the Year. 

“I have known Christie for over ten years, and she always shows up at the office with enthusiasm for any task we ask of her. It has been a pleasure to work with her, and we have developed a nice friendship over the years,” says Membership and Outreach Manager Barbara McCloskey, who works closely with Whitehouse. 

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The award is named for Rosalie Lavinthal, who served as The Land Conservancy’s Development Director for five years. She was universally admired by her co-workers, members of the Board, and many collaborators. After Rosalie passed away tragically and unexpectedly in 2012, The Land Conservancy began presenting an award annually to honor an outstanding volunteer and/or company whose land conservation work best exemplifies Rosalie’s giving, community-minded spirit. 

At the February 5 luncheon in a sunny meeting room over gourmet sandwiches, a smiling Whitehouse posed with various staff members for photos while holding the Land Conservancy’s token of appreciation—a photo of Bear Pond in Jefferson, one of her favorite spots and the site of a recent Land Conservancy hike. 

“We believe it’s important to gather together and show our gratitude to the members of our community who quietly help us accomplish our mission. It’s satisfying for us, and for our volunteers,” said Danielle Wolfrum, Director of Development and Communications. 

The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is a member-supported, non-profit, accredited land trust dedicated to preserving and protecting natural land and water resources throughout the State.Originally founded as an all-volunteer group in 1981, the organization has worked with 100 municipalities in 13 counties and continues to be recognized for meeting the highest standards for protecting open space, upholding the public trust, and ensuring that their conservation efforts are permanent. 

For more information about the work of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey, visit their website or call (973) 541-1010.