Mathias J. Bartels Environmental Leadership Award

The AwardView from a rocky mountain side across Williamstown to the Taconic mountains.

Williamstown Rural Lands (WRL) recognizes the essential role of youth in shaping the present and future natural environment and people’s relationship to it. We also recognize the distinctive role that nature plays in people’s lives, and particularly the local environment. It is in this spirit that WRL, in 2000, instituted an environmental award to a graduating senior from Mt. Greylock Regional High School who has demonstrated leadership in the area of the environment. The award was renamed in 2004 to honor the exemplary leadership exhibited by MGRHS student Mathias Bartels, who died suddenly in early 2004. Our intent is to support active and emerging environmental leaders and to elevate their efforts.

The Williamstown Rural Lands Mathias J. Bartels Environmental Leadership Award is given to a student who has demonstrated a strong interest in environmental issues through academic pursuits and/or extra-curricular activities. The student’s contribution to environmental awareness could be in a wide range of areas, including, but not limited to, science, history, literature, community service, or the arts.


The Mt. Greylock RHS Scholarship Committee is requested each year in late winter to select up to three graduating seniors as candidates for this award. Those individuals would then be asked to submit an application in the form of an essay of 300-500 words describing their interests and activities as they pertain to environmental issues. They should emphasize the impacts, intended or actual, their pursuits have had on the environment and society.

These essays will be due in early May to be reviewed by the education committee of Williamstown Rural Lands. One individual will be chosen each year as the recipient of the award, which includes a certificate and check. The award will be announced by the MGRHS administration at the “Senior Recognition” event.

Please note that the award is merit-based and is not considered a scholarship that must be used for college. Essays may be emailed to Robin Sears, Executive Director.

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