Anita Behnken


This tribute was written by Anita's daughter Nancy Behnken for Anita's dear friend Diana Dunnan, who's generous gift to the LWF honors Anita.

Anita Behnken is an energetic mother and grandmother who has raised three environmental activists and heavily influenced all seven of her grandchildren in this regard. She has a B.S. in Art History from Wheaton College and is a strong supporter of the arts as well as environmental causes.

Her eldest daughter Janet lives in Wales, where she has been the driving force behind the creation of a county-wide recycling program. Janet is also an active member of Friends of the Earth in the U.K. She and her three sons regularly donate their time and energy to a local wetlands restoration and preservation non-profit.

Anita's other two daughters live in Sitka, Alaska. Linda's primary focus is the protection of marine habitat from destructive fishing practices. She fought tirelessly and is commonly credited with being a major force in influencing the decision to eliminate factory trawlers from the southeastern Gulf of Alaska. This was an essential step in the preservation of delicate coral habitat, which is vitally important to so many marine species. Linda has an M.S. in Environmental Science from Yale and is a commercial fisherman herself, which gives her an uncommon ability to see both perspectives in the ongoing resource-extraction vs. habitat-preservation debates.

Nancy, Anita's third daughter, was a board member of the Sitka Conservation Society for over thirteen years and is a passionate environmentalist. She is also an artist, a talent she inherited from her mother and which her mother has nurtured since early childhood. As an SCS board member and volunteer, Nancy did what she could to protect the Tongass and continues to donate her artwork to further the work that SCS does.

How wonderful to see how the dedication and hard work of a loving mother to raise conscientious children, who in turn work hard to protect the environment, can reach all corners of the globe and beneficially affect many ecosystems.

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  • Cathy M Dillon
    commented 2021-10-29 06:56:26 -0800
    Honoring Anita V. Behnken
    Saturday, November 13, 2021
    Norwalk City Hall

    Anita was an avid supporter of the arts in Norwalk and a long-standing member of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra Board of Governors. She was keenly aware of the great significance of the Arts – through music and culture – to our city, and she devoted much of her life to enhancing these attributes. Her countless hours and years of commitment to our wider community demonstrated that a single person, through dedication to a cause, can make a crucial impact on the vitality and growth of cultural organizations in our community.

    The Norwalk Symphony will host a Reception in the Community Room and a Dedication Ceremony for the hallway leading towards the Community Room in City Hall as it is named in her honor.

    Admission to the reception and dedication is free to the community. We ask that you please RSVP to [email protected] so that we may ensure social distancing and capacity limits are not exceeded.

    At 7:30pm, the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra presents it “Mainly Mozart” concert in the Norwalk Concert Hall. Tickets are available on our website.
    25 Van Zant Street, Suite 14-3
    Norwalk, Connecticut 06855
    [email protected]

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