More than 80 people, young and old, braved the misty morning this past Saturday to honor Evelyn and the late Al Retelle.
The Andover Village Improvement Society dedicated the trail around Baker’s Meadow Reservation in honor of the two long-term wardens of the property.
Evelyn Retelle accepted the honor on behalf of herself and her husband, a dedicated conservationist who passed away this winter.
The event, held at the Retelle family house on Reservation Road, was cosponsored by the Merrimack Valley Bird Club, of which Al Retelle was a charter member. Representatives of both groups as well as family and friends of the Retelles were in attendance.
A past president of AVIS, Al Retelle also served as one-time chairman of the Andover Conservation Commission, a town committee that was created after he obtained Town Meeting approval in the late 1950s. He also spent more than 45 years as president of the Merrimack Valley Bird Club.
AVIS president Mike Timko dedicated the trail on behalf of his group’s trustees. He said special brown and yellow signs identifying the Al & Evelyn Retelle Trail have been made and will be installed at key points on the trail. Examples of the signs were available for guests to view.
Donna Cooper, secretary of the Merrimack Valley Bird Club, expressed appreciation on behalf of her club for Retelle’s many years of quiet, but excellent, leadership. She announced that the club voted to hold an annual walk at Baker’s Meadow, which will be known as the Al and Evelyn Retelle Walk.
Merrimack Valley Bird Club treasurer Diane Lightburn presented Timko with a donation to AVIS from the club in honor of Retelle and encouraged the community to hike AVIS trails and support the nonprofit organization.
Donald Cooper, current chairman of the Andover Conservation Commission, closed the program with one final honor for Retelle — delivering the news that the Conservation Commission would be renaming a section of town-owned land along the Merrimack River in memory of Retelle.
Following refreshments, most of those gathered took an inaugural walk around Baker’s Meadow on the newly named Al & Evelyn Retelle Trail.