The Friends of Belle Isle Marsh dedicated an Education and Research Station in memory of founding member, Kermit Norris, a pioneer advocate for the conservation of Belle Isle Marsh. Following the November 6 ceremony, friends and family joined for refreshments and a walk through the meadow.
“I wish Kermit could be here because the research station would give him extraordinary pleasure,” said Norris’ wife, Debbi, who generously donated funds to build the shed. “Kermit’s relationship with Belle Isle Marsh and its importance to the local environment were ever-present in his mind. This is a reason to celebrate.”
Norris, an East Boston resident, served as the president of Friends of Belle Isle Marsh during its conception in 1985, during a time when the land was abandoned and unhealthy. Belle Isle Marsh was surrounded by a dilapidated metal fence, and littered with beer cans and fast food wrappers. Plastic bags were stuck on the branches of trees.
Norris’ friend and founding member, Gail Miller, described him as warm, knowledgeable, and passionate about preserving the environment. Norris was committed to protecting the “finned, furry, and feathered friends” that live in the park’s habitat.
“Kermit relished giving tours,” said Miller, who remembers first meeting Norris during his presentation of exotic birds living in Belle Isle Marsh. “You felt his passion for this sacred environment, which he hoped to inspire others with. Kermit believed this place had to be protected for current residents and generations to follow.”