The fifth annual Source Maine Sustainability Awards, held by the Portland Press Herald, celebrated the efforts of individuals, businesses and nonprofits working to chart a more sustainable future with an awards dinner May 1 at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.

A crowd of environmentally minded folks – including farmers, brewers, educators, lawyers and recyclers – lifted cans of Allagash to toast to Luke Truman, an Allagash employee who has worked with the Sustainability Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on ways to recycle shrink-wrapped cans.

“Tonight’s winners are the sort of people who look at challenges, roll up their sleeves and ask what they can do,” said Source editor Peggy Grodinsky, one of the six judges.

In addition The Toastmaster award, given to Truman, there was The Cultivator, Jean English, longtime editor of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener quarterly; The Reutilizer, Ruth’s Reusable Resources; The Counselor, Legal Food Hub; and The Purifier, Brian Marcaurelle, who has been organizing a dozen island cleanup days a year.

“It was the most rewarding work I could possibly imagine,” Marcaurelle said. “And I wasn’t alone in feeling that way. Volunteers came in droves.”

Volunteerism is also the driving force behind The Resilience Hub, recipient of The Pollinator award.

“We formed a new board and revitalized the community, keeping the tradition of perma-blitzes alive,” said program director Kate Wallace, explaining that a perma-blitz is when a crew of volunteers spends a day transforming a private yard or public space. “That transformation isn’t just on the land. It’s on the people, and that’s why this organization exists.”

Adam Lee of Lee Auto Malls presented the Community Farm Champion Award to Goranson Farm, a third-generation family farm in Dresden that has been certified organic for 20 years.

“Over the past three decades, we have just been doing what needs to be done,” said Rob Johanson, who runs the farm with his wife, Jan Goranson, and their sons Carl and Goran Johanson.

Karen Voci, president of the Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare Foundation, presented the Healthy Food Champion award to Nyaruot Nguany, program manager for Maine Environmental Changemakers. Nguany leads a statewide network connecting environmentally conscious Mainers ages 15 to 30 years old with mentors, training and resources.

Three Russell Libby Scholarship recipients were also honored: high school senior Kathryn Brayson of Milford, who plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in animal science; farmer Kelsey Herrington of Two Farmers Farm in Scarborough; and educator Zabet NeuCollins of the Incredible Edible education program of the Women’s Health Resource Library in Milbridge.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at [email protected]

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