By: Walter Opuszynski, NFCT Trail Director
The Northern Forest Canoe Trail community suffered a great loss recently. Lisa Dyslin, a longtime supporter of the trail and the mother of our Adopt-a-Segment program, passed away on January 28. Lisa lived in Wilmington, New York, with her husband Nick and one very lovable and excitable Labrador retriever.
Lisa served as a charter member the NFCT Board of Directors for a total of 11 years, becoming one of the first members of the Stewardship Committee. With a former teacher’s attention to detail and spelling, she became the first board secretary and held this position for many years.
“Her tireless concern for the smallest of details and her adeptness at keeping projects on track echoed strongly of her years as a classroom educator. The NFCT benefitted immeasurably from her many years of involvement,” said Rob Center, first Executive Director of the Trail. This attention to detail and process also helped her play a significant role in the development of the NFCT section maps between 2002 and 2006.
During her time with the board and stewardship committee, she helped make substantial progress on organizational structure, developing an emergency preparedness plan for the trail and creating guidelines for safety signage.
As the founding NFCT Board Chair, Kay Henry reflected on how Lisa’s organizational skills and matter-of-fact approach helped in the creation of a hard-working and hands-on board culture for the fledgling organization. “She was always quick to volunteer for projects and followed up to assure their success. You could always count on Lisa to complete what she had committed to.”
Lisa was the first person to become a volunteer Trail Maintainer in the Adopt-a-Segment Program, working with Ryan Doyle to maintain New York Segment 9 covering an area of the Saranac River corridor from Permanent Rapids to Union Falls Pond. Ryan remembers volunteering with Lisa on this section of the NFCT fondly.
“I was fortunate to meet Lisa through Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters,” he said. “When I asked her if I could help as a maintainer she graciously welcomed me. Over the years, we spent several days together on the water and each time was special. Lisa was great with conversation and had much to share. Her stories of adventures with her lady-friends and husband Nick always made me smile. I will always remember Lisa’s enthusiasm, vibrancy and strength. I am honored to have known and worked with her.”
Lisa was an active participant in the Adopt-a-Segment program and was a regular at our annual maintainer jamborees. She is remembered for her kindness, hospitality, and ability to roll up her sleeves and get things done. Many volunteers and interns will also remember her very tasty lemon squares. Lisa was well known for finding people working on projects along the trail and providing them with this tasty treat at their moment of need, giving them a sweet and tangy boost of energy. She truly understood what it meant to volunteer and her efforts have left a lasting impact the NFCT. We will do all we can to carry her spirit forward and will be dedicating our 2017 stewardship season to her memory.