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The Martha Hatch Award is the Friends of the Bosque del Apache NWR's highest honor and is given to the person who best exhibits the characteristics of an ideal volunteer and who has made outstanding volunteer contributions to the Friends and the Refuge. The Award is named after Martha Hatch, who was the Friends first newsletter editor, and who gave 6 years of dedicated service in that capacity" (see Martha Hatch Award for information and guidelines)

Jim and Penny Lommen- 2015 recipients


In a break with tradition, the 2015 Award was given jointly to Penny and Jim Lommen, a couple who together epitomize what it means to be volunteers in support of the Friends and the Bosque del Apache NWR - real worker bees of the highest order. For more than six years Jim, with Penny’s able assistance, has coordinated the Wildlife Zone during Festival, offering special educational and conservation experiences for families and kids. Penny also has been working tirelessly to organize the biology research library of the refuge, bringing order to a mass of randomly collected and donated material. She also has been helping the Friends maintain its membership database. We are indebted to both Penny and Jim, who truly exhibit the spirit of the Martha Hatch Award.

Kale Batsell- 2014 recipient


This year the Friends of the Bosque was pleased to present the 2014 Martha Hatch Award to Kale Batsell. Locally Kale is perhaps best known as a registered avian rehabilitator. With a carefully designed aviary on her property she has taken birds from as far away as Las Cruces for care and release. When Kale first arrived in the area, back in 2005, she joined the Friends almost immediately and found herself busy with the Hospitality tent at Festival time, a job she enjoyed and eventually ended up coordinating for several years. Many of the skills she had honed in her professional career as an educator came in handy. She also served a term on the Board of Directors during 2009-2010. At the end of her term, then-president Paul White paid tribute: “It’s hard to know where to start in singling out some of your many contributions. You have always been generous with your time, volunteering in support of the Festival and numerous other special events. I cannot recall anyone who read reports and draft materials as conscientiously and with such a discerning eye as you. You helped us immeasurably through your role on the Finance Committee and in our review of our new Financial Procedures Manual. I am particularly grateful, however, for the thorough, thoughtful and careful manner in which you led the Board’s review of our Mapping the Rio Program. This effort may have been painful at times, but your efforts left the Board much more committed to supporting sound environmental education programs in the future.”

Skeeter Leard- 2013 recipient


This year the Friends were proud to present the Martha Hatch award for exceptional volunteer service to local artist, Skeeter Leard. For nearly three decades Skeeter's art has captured iconic images of New Mexico wildlife which have reached a local, national and international audience. Inspired by her early visits to Bosque del Apache NWR, Skeeter became one of the founding members of the Friends of the Bosque and was one of the primary organizers of the Fine Arts Show at the Festival of the Cranes. Skeeter is a member of Women Artists of the West, the American Plains Artist association and the Pastel Society of New Mexico. As characterized by her numerous friends Skeeter has always been 'the one who was always there', 'always ready to help', always advocating for the refuge and always ready to share her unique artistic vision as inspired by her love of the Bosque. You can view her art at and at local galleries in Socorro.

Cheryl Learn - 2012 recipient


"My husband Emerson and I were charter members of the Friends of Bosque del Apache in 1993. Both of us were avid birders. Over the years, I have contributed to the Friends in several ways.  Some of my contributions include  working just about every Festival of the Cranes  for 19 years as a speaker,  nature walk leader, serving on the board twice, being secretary, work days, participating in educational events,  leading tours, and gardening in the Desert Arboretum.  In recent years after Emerson passed away in 2008, my main thrust has been raising money for the Emerson Learn Bus Scholarship Endowment.  The Endowment has grown to about $30,000.00+ with much more to go. I believe that I bring to the board a sense of our history as well as a zeal for the refuge and nature. When the Friends started, few Fish and Wildlife refuges had Friends groups. The Friends of Bosque del Apache were a shining star to other beginning friends or natural history groups.  Many times we were invited to offer support, give direction, and encouragement to beginning Friends groups in several states from Maine to Florida.  Being involved with Bosque del Apache has enriched my life immeasurably. I plan to continue giving back to the refuge."- Cheryl


Tom Sizemore – 2011 recipient

Sandy Seth Martha Hatch Award 2010
Friends of the Bosque del Apache president Lise Spargo presents
2011 Martha Hatch Award to Tom Sizemore

Santa Fe entrepreneur Thomas G. Sizemore

Bosque del Apache Friends Present Annual Martha Hatch Award The Martha Hatch Award for, given annually by Friends of the Bosque del Apache to the individual who has made outstanding contributions to the Friends and the renowned wildlife refuge south of Socorro, was awarded Nov. 17, 2011 during the 24th annual Bosque del Apache Festival of the Cranes to Santa Fe entrepreneur Thomas G. Sizemore. The award was presented at the Friends' annual dinner at New Mexico Tech University in Socorro.
While serving as volunteer Treasurer from 2006-2009, Sizemore developed a 100-page financial manual detailing the policies and procedures to keep the Friends' bookkeeping and reporting in line with current "generally accepted accounting practices" and newly enacted legislation for non-profits. Additional requirements became applicable during Sizemore's tenure, as annual revenue of the Friends approached half a million dollars.
Sizemore is the proprietor of Global Technology Applications, Ltd., a Santa Fe firm specializing in domestic and international management and consulting, which he established in 1999 after retiring as vice president of Eat elle, a private, non-profit research company in Columbus, OH. He is a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps., from which he retired as a major.

Sandy Seth – 2010 recipient

Sandy Seth Martha Hatch Award 2010
Friends of the Bosque del Apache president Paul White presents
2010 Martha Hatch Award to Taos-area artist/activist Sandy Seth.

Bosque 'Friends' Honors Taos-area Heritage Activist

Ranchos de Taos wildlife photographer, ecology activist and published author Sandy Seth has added another award to a long list of honors she has received. Friends of the Bosque del Apache awarded its highest honor, the Martha Hatch Award, to Seth at the recently completed Festival of the Cranes. As webmaster for the Friends, Seth is the online voice for the renowned Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge south of Socorro.

Seth, a second-generation New Mexican and daughter of parents who loved the Refuge, is known in the Taos area for her advocacy of building with native materials, and for five houses in the Territorial and Pueblo styles which she hand-built from adobe. Her award-winning wildlife photographs are represented by the Carson House Shop and at, an on-line gallery which she operates with artist-partner Valerie Graves.

The Martha Hatch Award, given annually "to the person who best exhibits the characteristics of an ideal volunteer and who has made outstanding volunteer contributions to the Friends and the Refuge", was presented to Seth in a ceremony at the recently completed 23rd annual Bosque del Apache Festival of the Cranes.

Anyone who has visited the Friends' website which Seth designed and maintains as webmaster will understand why this award is richly deserved. Seth also left an indelible mark on the just-completed 2010 Festival of the Cranes: her photograph titled "Sandhill Crane Pair- Reflections" was chosen as the Festival's theme. The image was reproduced on banners lining the main street in Socorro, and on Festival literature and merchandise. Finally, Seth posts a Day-by-Day Diary of Festival and refuge happenings on which she created.

In presenting the Martha Hatch award, Friends' president Paul White said: "…our honoree has loved everything about the Bosque ever since she first laid eyes on it…Sandy, it seems as if every time I turn around, I am discovering something else you have done in support of the refuge and the Friends." White followed this introduction with 14 concrete professional and financial contributions Seth has made since she became a member of the Friends in 2003.

Seth has had numerous one person and group shows at galleries and museums through the country. She was an Artist in Residence at Djerassi Foundation, Woodside, CA, and her work was selected for the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery Nationwide Juried Show and the Museum of New Mexico Biennial Juried Show, among others. Her many photograph awards include winning Best Photograph at the Taos Fall Arts Festival Invitational Show.

Before turning to photography, Seth pursued an interest in regional architecture and native materials in building. She co-authored Adobe! Homes and Interiors of Taos, Santa Fe and the Southwest, was featured in Janice Goldfanks' book Making Ourselves at Home: Women Builders and Designers, and was included in Stand Against the Wind, a Biographical Sketchbook of New Mexico Women by Maryann Abkemeier and Laura Robertson. Seth has lectured on Southwest art and architecture at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, and was a tour leader for the Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art Forum.

Seth says she views her wildlife art not as a business, but as way to call attention to the to value of all life, especially birds and wildlife and the habitat they rely on for survival.

Seth derives her passion for New Mexico's natural resources and traditions from a family with deep roots in New Mexico. Her father, Judge Oliver Seth, was for 34 years a member of the Federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, retiring as its Chief Justice. Her mother was founder of the pioneering Canyon Road Art Gallery, one of the first of Santa Fe's illustrious showplaces for regional artists.


Barbara DuBois, 2009 recipient

A highlight of the Friends Dinner in 2009, held during the Festival of the Cranes, was the Martha Hatch Award presentation. Each year the award goes to the person who best exhibits the characteristics of an ideal volunteer, and who has made outstanding volunteer contributions to the Friends and the Refuge.
This year we honored Barbara DuBois, pictured above with Paul White, Friends's president and Betty White.
Barbara is a tireless worker at Friends meetings and other events. Her cheerful smile has welcomed hundreds of visitors to Festivals over the years and she persuaded most of them to join the Friends. Her spirit and her example are worthy models for us all. Congratulations and thank you, Barbara.

Turning, turning, snow geese make a design
like a kaleidoscope,
Greek for "sight of beautiful form."
Not turning, they line up
like a string of pearls in the turquoise sky.
Alexander had his seers
read bird behavior
and led his life and sometimes
saved it thereby.
Can we follow him and lead our lives
according to bird flight?
What meaning can we latter-day cynics
read in the graceful motions
of these incandescent shapes?
Only the lesson that we may cherish
beauty for its own sake.
Some things need not be good for something.

Barbara DuBois

Jon Morrison – 2008 recipient

The Martha Hatch award was established by the Friends of the Bosque del Apache NWR in 1998 to be issued each year to an individual who has provided exemplary service to the Friends of the Bosque del Apache NWR and to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  The award was named in honor of its first recipient, who for many years produced a newsletter for the refuge, and which after formation in 1993 of the Friends of the Bosque del Apache, became the organization’s newsletter.

Summary of Jon Morrison’s service to Friends of the Bosque del Apache NWR:

Jon Morrison was President of the Friends of the Bosque del Apache from July, 2005 until January, 2008; Vice President from January, 2002 until July, 2005.  His major initiatives for the Friends of the Bosque:
Sponsored the Friends classroom environmental education program, (presently the Mapping the Rio Watershed Education Program with classrooms in the Socorro Elementary Schools.
Initiated purchase by Friends of the Bosque del Apache’s of Chupadera Peak, which was donated to the Bosque del Apache NWR last year for inclusion in the Chupadera Wilderness.
Oversaw construction of the Christina Ann Lannan Educational Annex the the refuge visitor center in 2006 with $600,000 raised by Friends of the Bosque del Apache.
In 2007, initiated the first annual RioFest Environmental Film Festival in Socorro under sponsorship of the Friends of the Bosque del Apache.
Editor of Friends of the Bosque del Apache Newsletter July, 2002 until 2007.
In 2008, established an annual Costa Rica Birding Expedition as a combine fundraiser for Friends of the Bosque del Apache and for a conservation organization in Costa Rica to be selected each year.

Previous recipients of the Martha Hatch Award:
Martha Hatch
Roy Poole
Phil Norton
John Bertrand
Robert Kruidenier
Jerry Goffe
Betty Davis
Steve Green
Park Borgeson
Percy Deal

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