The Rockfall Foundation has selected Joseph Bradley of Old Saybrook High School as recipient of the 2021 Virginia R. Rollefson Environmental Leadership Scholarship.
Bradley’s leadership was demonstrated by his successful efforts to create and lead the Coastal Cleanup Coalition, a group of 20 regular volunteers who pick up trash around Old Saybrook with a mission of preserving Old Saybrook’s coastal wildlife and ecosystems. Bradley first started his project picking up trash alone a few days a week.
Just a week before he intended to get a widespread initiative underway, COVID-19 restrictions were implemented and OSHS was quarantined. Bradley used this time wisely: working independently, he was able to figure out the best places in town to clean and began to understand the patterns of where trash would accumulate in town. Once restrictions lifted, Bradley used the resources available to him as President of the OSHS Ecology Club and as student liaison to the Conservation Commission of Old Saybrook to spread the word about his new initiative. Soon, he had over 20 students and adults participating in the effort. Now, Bradley has a dedicated group of volunteers that he can rely on when he organizes a cleanup. He is encouraged by their enthusiasm, and believes that his generation will be the one to pioneer environmental reform.
Bradley will attend Harvard University in the fall, and plans to pursue a dual concentration in physics & astrophysics with a secondary in environmental science.
The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants. Founded in 1935, the Foundation is celebrating its 86th anniversary in 2021. As one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations, it continues its mission set by founding philanthropist Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth. The Rockfall Foundation also operates the historic deKoven House Community Center that offers meeting and event room rentals and office space for non-profit organizations. For additional information about the Virginia R. Rollefson Environmental Leadership Scholarship or The Rockfall Foundation, please visit www.rockfallfoundation.org.