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Gloria Tu Gilbert was named the Westford Kiwanis 2018 Person of the Year.
Gilbert said she believes strongly that one needs purpose in life and like most of us, she cares deeply about family, church, schools and community.
With her bachelor of science degree in environmental planning and design, landscape architecture, it was a natural progression when she moved from Boston to Westford in 1992, trading in career for a family, husband, basset hound and station wagon, to put her talents into service as a landscape design consultant for the Westford Historical and Town Common Restoration Committee’s overhaul of the town common in 1996.
Subsequently, while she was serving as the chairperson of First Parish Church United’s Outreach Community Chairperson for six years (2002-2009), when given $300 from First Parish Church United’s minister, Cynthia Worthington Berry, for an Outreach mission, the idea was hatched of utilizing the town Common for a farmers market.
Helping farmers and the local food economy and developing a gathering space for the community directly across from the FPCU was a perfect win win for all, she said.
Her vision was been to use the farmer’s market as a springboard for an environmental platform. With the help of incredible volunteers who came on board, 12 years after its inception, Sustainable Westford (SW) has been able to create programs like Upcycle, Community Compost at Westford Academy, Rainbow Snack Program at the elementary school level and the Educational Winter Series, creating environmental awareness at the school, town and community levels.
Founder of the Westford Farmers Market in 2007, she lists the following among the awards and recognition she’s received:
- 2013 — Sustainable Westford nominated for Non-Profit Organization (NPO) of the Year from the Celebration of Excellence, Enterprise Bank.
- 2010 — Mass Unsung Heroine Award, Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.
- 2007 — Westford Farmers Market nominated to receive Community Excellence Award at the Celebration of Excellence, Enterprise Bank.