Prescott Farm honors John Allen with “Ursula Allen Volunteer Appreciation Award”

LACONIA – Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center celebrated the efforts and achievements of volunteers last week with the annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic. In addition to classic cookout fare, the picnic featured live Celtic music from The Rebel Collective, along with plenty of laughs and camaraderie for the 40+ celebrants.

One special guest, John Allen, was the recipient of the Ursula Allen Volunteer Appreciation Award. John and Ursula, a husband and wife duo, have contributed thousands of hours to the gardens and grounds of Prescott Farm.

Board member and fellow garden volunteer, Bob Ewell, introduced John at the event. “Wherever you look on these 160 acres of property, John Allen’s fingerprints are there. His dedication to these gardens, fields, and trails cannot be exaggerated,” Ewell said.  

When Prescott Farm was established in 1997, Ursula Allen realized it was the perfect place for her recently-retired husband, John, to volunteer and keep busy. What she didn’t know at the time was that her passion for gardening would make Prescott Farm a home-away-from-home for her, too. In his words, John is just free labor and Ursula is the brains behind the operation.

Four years after the award was established in her name, staff and Board leadership decided it was time to honor John’s decades of ‘free labor’.

With 94 individuals donating over 1,000 hours of their time in 2022, Prescott Farm’s volunteer program is thriving. Executive Director, Jude Hamel, notes that running a small environmental education nonprofit would be impossible without the enthusiasm and care of so many helping hands.

“Some folks think they need to be an expert in a particular area to help out here,” Hamel said. “But education is at the heart of everything we do, and that includes volunteer opportunities. This is a great place to be a leader or to learn about a topic that interests you.”

From trail maintenance and gardening to event planning and fundraising, Lakes Region community members with a wide range of interests and skills can make a significant impact through volunteerism at Prescott Farm.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at Prescott Farm, contact or call Jordan Poole at 603-366-5695.