Phil Labbe, left, a lifelong resident of Arundel, is honored as the first recipient of the ‘Community Hero’ Award by Joan Hull, Arundel Conservation Trust president during the group’s annual meeting at the Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve’s Community Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO

ARUNDEL — At the annual meeting of the Arundel Conservation Trust held recently at the Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve’s Community Center, Phil Labbe, a lifelong resident of Arundel, was honored as the first recipient of the “Community Hero” Award.

Labbe was the unanimous choice of the ACT Board of Directors for this award because of his unwavering support during the creation of ACT and thereafter in developing the Cooperation Agreement with the Town of Arundel that supported ACT’s purchase of the 40-acre site on Limerick Road.

His generous donation of an easement across his land will allow a connection between the Eastern Trail and the Limerick Road property as well as allow trail-users to enjoy a beautiful overlook of the Kennebunk River.

He was initially a somewhat reluctant attendee at the ceremony, but his family and friends finally prevailed upon him at the last minute to attend what turned out to be a surprise for him.

The award was enthusiastically applauded by all and reads as follows “In recognition and gratitude for his outstanding generosity and commitment to the citizens of Arundel and his hope that through his gift, all its people for generations to come will have access to its natural beauty and come to love it as much as he does.”