Warren Balgooyen leading a canoe trip into Lost Pond for a group of campers from Camp Runoia.
7 Lakes Alliance is saddened to report that a former long-time board member, Warren Balgooyen, passed away recently after a long and difficult battle with cancer. Warren was part of the original group that formed Watson Pond Conservation Trust in 1988, which became Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance (BRCA) in 1991, and 7 Lakes Alliance in 2017. Warren was our longest-serving board member (over 25 years) and was very active on our Land, Stewardship, and Education Committees until he became ill. He was also involved in many other environmental and conservation groups throughout the State of Maine and nationally, including serving on the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Commission, and the boards of Maine Audubon and the Norcross Wildlife Foundation.
Warren was a very talented and extremely knowledgeable naturalist who saw Mother Nature's beauty everywhere and was always eager to teach others about the flora, fauna, and ecology of the trees, forests, lakes, and wetlands. He built trails, led nature hikes and paddles, and loved foraging wild foods and ice fishing. His "Trees on Skis" was one of our most popular events every year. Warren ran a native plant nursery and raised American chestnut trees on his farm for nearly 30 years. His kind and generous manner provided engaging environmental education for many.
He donated land to BRCA that is now part of the Kennebec Highlands. He and his wife, Helen, also donated a conservation easement to BRCA on his 407-acre farm in Norridgewock, Smithfield, and Mercer, an easement we hold in partnership with Maine Farmland Trust. He was awarded the Eddie Mayer Conservation Award in 2017. We, and the entire Maine conservation community, will sorely miss him but fondly remember him whenever we are on the landscape that he helped to conserve for perpetuity through his actions. He truly lived “Making Conservation a Tradition."
Here is a link to his obituary: Warren Balgooyen. There is a memorial service at the First Congregational Church of Norridgewock on Saturday, January 26 at 2 p.m.