The Harris Center in Hancock celebrated the conclusion of its 50th anniversary year and recognized several extraordinary partners at its 50th annual meeting on Oct 23.

The Harris Center held many special events in honor of the anniversary this year — many of them online as the world came to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, this was the nonprofit organization’s first online annual meeting. Board members, staff, supporters and friends reviewed highlights of the past year and watched a brief slideshow of the center’s 50-year history; additionally, the winners of its 50th anniversary photo contest were announced.

Meade Cadot was honored with the Educator of the Year Award. Cadot has spent more than four decades with the Harris Center, first as executive director and now as naturalist emeritus, where he shares his knowledge of birds, mammals, winter tracking and land protection. He also taught in Antioch University New England’s Environmental Studies Department for 30 years.

The 2020 Laurie Bryan Partnership Award — honoring former Harris Center Executive Director Laurie Bryan’s achievements in working with community partners — was presented to Chris Conroy of Heartwood Media. Conroy donated his time to produce five short vi-deos that tell the Harris Center’s story.

Richard Haskins and Peter Harrison shared the 2020 Volunteer Extraordinaire Award for their dedication to maintaining Harris Center trails.

In addition to the awards, the Annual Meeting also included a brief business meeting, in which outgoing Board Chair Richard Pendleton was thanked for his years of service, and three new board members — Daniel Henderson, Karrie Kalich and Denise Zimmer — were voted in.

The meeting concluded with an announcement that the Harris Center had surpassed its goal for its 50th Anniversary Fund. This fundraising campaign was launched earlier in the year to support education and conservation research programs, and to ensure stewardship of Harris Center lands and trails in response to extreme weather events. Hundreds of Harris Center supporters donated to the fund, ensuring very solid financial ground for the Harris Center as it looks ahead to its next 50 years.