On September 17, 2019 the Brunswick Rotary Club, Rotary International, and Harpswell lost a wonderful soul with the death of Walter “Doc” Phillips.  Doc was a long-time (40+ years) member of Rotary, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a wonderful husband and father, and a true gentleman.  His contributions to his various communities and to Rotary are virtually unequaled.  In early 2020, the Brunswick Rotary Club created the Walter H. “Doc” Phillips Memorial Award. 
 
This award will be presented annually.  Those recognized will be commendable community members who have demonstrated dedicated involvement in a field that encompassed Doc’s interests, including land conservation, volunteerism, and service to others, education, water quality, science programs, etc.  There is no restriction that the awardee must be a Rotarian. 
 
The Brunswick Rotary Club is pleased to announce that Mary Ann Nahf has been selected as the 2021 recipient of this prestigious community award.
 
When Mary Ann moved to Harpswell in 2000, she wanted to learn more about the community as well as to meet people so she decided to join the Land Trust and volunteered for the Programs Committee. Doc Phillips was on the Board for the organization and was seeking an administrator for the Nature Day Camp that he had started years earlier. Mary Ann had always enjoyed working with children and volunteered for the role; she administered the Day Camp for several years until Julia Mcleod was hired as the director and expanded the program. Mary Ann continues to serve as a Trustee on the Board with a brief hiatus in 2013 in between terms.  She continues to participate on the Programs Committee and serves as the Chairperson for the Lands Committee.
 
In 2002, The Conservation Commission sought new members at the annual town meeting. Having a keen interest in the environment and Harpswell's natural resources, Mary Ann volunteered. She continues to serve on the Commission to this day and is currently acting as the Chairperson. During the past twenty years, the Conservation Commission revived the Adopt a Road program, partnered with the Recycling Center to sell compost bins, developed the Town's Open Space Plan, and was instrumental in passing a pesticide ordinance that focuses on pesticides that harm aquatic invertebrates and pollinators.  Recently, the Committee has worked with residents to control brown tail and winter moths.
 
Mary Ann served as Harpswell's representative to the Curtis Memorial Library from 2013 to 2018
 
 In 2015 the Conservation Commission began exploring Harpswell's roads and shoreline resilience in light of sea level rise and storm surge. This resulted in applying for a grant to assess the town’s vulnerabilities.  The results of this study led to the Selectmen establishing the new Climate Resilience Implementation Task Force to plan actions that will be needed to assure infrastructure resiliency. As Chairperson of this committee, Mary Ann, along with other committee members, will be working with private road associations to help them to prepare for higher tides and storm surge as they consider road maintenance going forward.
 
The Marine Resources Committee was in need of new members in 2017. Mary Ann felt a better knowledge of their work would be helpful to the work she was undertaking with the Conservation Commission, so she joined as an alternate. Mary Ann’s participation in both groups has fostered collaboration on recent projects including shellfish licenses, shellfish surveys, and other projects insuring the preservation of Harpswell’s valuable natural resources.  She was also involved in publishing “A Resident’s Conservation Guide to Casco Bay.”
 
Mary Ann said, “I met my initial goal of meeting people and learning about the community of Harpswell ten-fold and can't think of a better place I'd want to call home.”
 
Mary Ann epitomizes everything for which the Walter H. “Doc” Phillips Award stands: she is dedicated to her community, education, and the environment.  The Brunswick Rotary Club is honored to recognize her as the second recipient of this prestigious award.  An award ceremony will be planned and announced soon.