Durller to Be Recognized by BkC
Each year the Battenkill Conservancy recognizes an area resident for their positive impact on the watershed with its annual Community Citizen Award. This year’s will go posthumously to James Thomas Durller, formerly of Fort Edward and Arlington. The Award will be presented to his wife Melinda and family by BkC chair Stuart Bartow at a ceremony scheduled for 2:30 p.m. during the Battenkill Runs Through It River Festival on Saturday, May 25.
Durller was an avid conservationist, a master storyteller and a natural teacher. After graduating from Fort Edward High School and caring for his father, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served two tours in Vietnam, earning Secret Clearance before being honorably discharged in 1971. When he returned home, he enrolled in SUNY Albany and earned a BS in Business Administration. He went on to work as comptroller for American Home Products for over 20 years before retiring in 1996. Retirement for James provided additional opportunities to expand – and more importantly share – his knowledge. Before long he had earned a Masters Degree in Education and served as an Adjunct Professor of American History at SUNY Adirondack. He became a Master Gardener and Forest Owner with Cornell Cooperative Extension, served as Trustee of the Fort Edward Historical Association and volunteered countless hours at the Fort Ticonderoga Friends Association, Adirondack Museum and the New York State Forest Owners’ Association. A long-time contributing member of the National Rifle Association, the Battenkill Conservancy and other groups, Durller’s most important contributions are likely the lessons he taught to so many and the memories he made through times spent hunting and camping with both young and old. Battenkill Conservancy was one of three organizations named as a recipient of donations made in Jim’s honor. It was through the many heart-felt notes and remembrances that BkC received after his passing that it became clear that one who gave so much of his knowledge and spirit while living should clearly be honored for his contributions after his passing.