Written by Ed Osborn
Willimantic, Conn. - On Wednesday, April 18, from 3-4 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus, Patricia DeMarco will present the lecture, "On the Message from Silent Spring: Transition to a Sustainable Future." The lecture honors the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" in 1962 and is the first in what is planned to be an annual series of Marion Parks Honorary Lectures.
DeMarco is the director of the Rachel Carson Institute in the School of Sustainability and the Environment at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA (Rachel Carson's alma mater). DeMarco is a national leader in the areas of energy, economic development and environmental policy. In addition to having provided counsel in the past to the Governor or Connecticut, she spent seven years in Alaska, including a term as commissioner on the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.
Marion Parks was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer from 1941-1965. After her retirement, she founded the Rachel Carson Trust in Maryland. Ms. Parks was also a close friend of Joseph Zaring and Dorothy Church Zaring, who donated the Church Farm property in Ashford to Eastern Connecticut State University. Ms. Parks was very involved in helping the Zarings develop documents that led to the Church Farm being placed in the National Historical Register. With the Zaring's encouragement, Eastern has created an annual lecture series to honor Parks' efforts to preserve the Church Farm property.
"We are delighted to open our Marion Parks Honorary Lecture series with a talk about one of our country's pioneer conservationists," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "Just as Rachel Carson's work helped spawn the global environmental movement and launch the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. DeMarco's career has been marked by a commitment to sustainability. As manager for resource development for the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative; President of the Anchorage, Alaska, Economic Development Corporation; and Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association, to name just a few of her accomplishments, Dr. DeMarco has been a national leader on energy and environmental policy issues. It is fitting that she speaks on Rachel Carson's legacy as part of our tribute to Marion Parks and her own efforts to preserve historical properties."