New Award Honors the Life and Legacy of John Cronin; Milton's Elle Anthony is the first recipient

Long-time Wakefield Arboretum advisor and friend John Cronin passed away earlier this year, leaving a large legacy and impact on the community he loved. John lived in Milton his entire life and served as Milton’s Town Administrator for 33 years, from 1968 to 2001. He graduated from Milton High School, class of 1955. His passion for Milton was demonstrated in many ways, not the least of which was his commitment to preserving and enhancing the rich natural resources and places in and around Milton. As a life-long environmentalist and horticulturalist, he was active in many efforts and groups that shared his interests: he served as an Associate Commissioner of the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), now known as the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and was active in many local and state-wide organizations, including the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. In Milton, John was instrumental in the formation of the Milton Conservation Commission and served on it from 1963-1968. He also served as Milton’s Park Commissioner from 1961-1968. When he wasn’t tending his own garden, John offered advice and counsel in the early formational days of the Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum and played an instrumental role in shaping our education-centered mission.
To honor John’s life and the role he played here and across the area, the Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum has launched a new initiative to carry on his important legacy. John believed the preservation of the natural environment should be entrusted to the youth, ensuring the continuation of advocacy and innovation to protect the environment for generations to come. The Wakefield Arboretum’s John Cronin Environmental Leadership Award is aimed at rewarding and cultivating tomorrow’s environmental leaders. The annual award will be given to a graduating senior from Milton High School who possesses a keen awareness of the environmental challenges facing our community and who demonstrates a strong commitment to work with others toward a sustainable future. Executive Director Mark Smith and Maritta Cronin, John’s wife for 56 yepresented the first John Cronin Environmental Leadership Award to Milton High School Senior Elle Anthony, who will be attending Swathmore College in the fall to pursue her interests in environmental science. John’s presence will be missed, but his legacy will endure.

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