It’s been a good run. When I accepted the nomination to lead the chapter four years ago, in some ways I did so to carry on a legacy and pay homage to my grandfather. Jay Lehr was an active member in the late 80’s through his passing in 1999. As I understand it, he was part of the foundational group of early members that laid the groundwork for what MCTU is today. He helped to build the nursery, planted numerous trees in the watershed, led the opening day fundraiser, and ran the train for stocking. He taught me to fish, taught me about the importance of water quality, and taught me about the need to protect wild trout. And as a kid in his formative years, those lessons never left me.
I look back on what the chapter has accomplished over the last four years, and what brings a smile to my face is the incredible group of volunteers that we have at MCTU. The Volunteers who have worked with the watershed community to keep miles of water open to the public. The Volunteers who have planted thousands of trees. The Volunteers who have stocked thousands of fish. The Volunteers who have raised thousands of dollars to support the mission. The Volunteers who have supported our TIC (Trout in the Classroom) program to educate thousands of students. You get the picture. The power of investing your time and energy for the greater good creates a vibrancy that’s infectious.
I look forward to seeing the chapter continue to grow and thrive as new leaders step in to carry the torch. I know that if Jay could see the progress we’ve made and the mission continue he would be smiling, just as I am.
Enjoy the day.