Woodcock Nature Center Director of Education Sarah Breznen was awarded the Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award at a ceremony at the Ridgefield Library on Tuesday, March 28. Each year, the Garden Club of America offers the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award to one or more individuals across the country who provide outstanding environmental education for children.

Elizabeth Hull, a member of the Ridgefield Garden Club for more than 50 years, endowed the award in 1992 “to recognize an individual who, through working with children under 16 years of age in horticulture and the environment, has inspired their appreciation of the beauty and fragility of our planet.” Despite the fact that Hull was a long-time resident of Ridgefield, this is the first time an individual working in Ridgefield has received the competitive award (although Breznen’s work also extends throughout Fairfield County).

Candidates must be recommended for the Hull Award by a local chapter of the Garden Club of America. The Ridgefield Garden Club (a GCA member), members of the Woodcock Nature Center community and Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi helped prepare and submit the application on behalf of Breznen.

Sarah Breznen, Director of Education at Woodcock Nature Center Credit: contributed / Woodcock Nature Center

As Woodcock’s Director of Education since 2009, Breznen oversees all environmental programming at the nature center including preschool programs, after-school programs, community outreach, and strategic partnerships. She directs two of Woodcock’s most robust programs: summer camp and, in particular, school field trips, which have brought Connecticut science standards-based programming to thousands of children, including many in underserved communities, inspiring an important generation of young nature lovers. Breznen also serves as a member of the board of the Norwalk River Watershed Association and regularly volunteers in the Norwalk community.

“Sarah inspires everyone around her by setting a strong example of what it means to live a life dedicated to the community and to our environment,” Woodcock Executive Director Lenore Herbst said.

“Her knowledge of our natural world, infectious passion and ability to connect with all ages and types of individuals is fundamental to her success. She is a wonderful representation of the vision Elizabeth Abernathy Hull set for this prestigious award. We are very proud to have her in our community,” Herbst added.