Concord Resident Honored as Forest Society Volunteer of the Year

September 20, 2011


Concord resident Rhoda Mitchell was honored by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests as the organization’s Trish Churchill Volunteer of the Year.

The Trish Churchill Volunteer of the Year award is presented to recognize an outstanding Forest Society volunteer and to inspire others in their efforts to support the organization’s mission. The award is named for Patricia “Trish” Churchill, longtime Forest Society volunteer director.

Mitchell moved to Concord from Plymouth, NH in 2001 and found her way to the Forest Society’s Conservation Center almost immediately. The Forest Society takes pride in this energy-efficient building, made from recycled materials and filled with natural light and elements of the natural world – including many, many plants. The interior plants are as much a part of the building as any other architectural feature, cleaning the air, providing texture and color, and helping to make the place unique. Mitchell has assumed responsibility for the health of these plants for the past 10 years.

“She’s here each week, quietly and cheerfully watering and tending the plants, pruning them and keeping them in tip-top shape,” said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley, who presented the award. “She’s always friendly to the staff, businesslike in her work, and incredibly dedicated.”

Mitchell has had a houseful of plants of her own, with which she enjoys experimenting. She also enjoys exploring Concord’s walking trails, including the Forest Society’s floodplain forest along the Merrimack River.

The award was presented at the Forest Society’s Annual Volunteers Appreciation Dinner, which was held earlier this month at the Conservation Center in Concord.

Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit