The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) recently honored Amos B. Hostetter, Jr. with its prestigious Charles Eliot Conservationist of the Year Award at the nonprofit’s 127th Annual Meeting held in the State Room in Boston. Mr. Hostetter’s Barr Foundation office is in the Pilot House in the North End.
Hostetter has been a friend and supporter of The Trustees for many years, serving as a Corporate Trustee since 1991, and as a longtime member of the Nantucket Property Committee. He is a passionate advocate for conservation, the environment, arts, and education in Boston and beyond through his work as co-founder and trustee of the Barr Foundation, which also seeks solutions to protect Boston’s waterfront from the increasing threats of our changing climate. Through his work with the Barr Foundation, he has also been a supporter of The Trustees’ One Waterfront Initiative designed to seek and create climate resilient, accessible open spaces and parks along Boston’s vulnerable waterfront.
“We were honored to celebrate Amos Hostetter for his incredible legacy of leadership and advocacy around conservation and climate action in Boston and beyond,” says Trustees President & CEO Barbara Erickson. “His long-term vision to create a vibrant, livable, and environmentally healthy city and resilient waterfront is awe-inspiring. We are grateful for his tireless dedication, contributions, and commitment.”
Hostetter is also the current chairman and CEO of Pilot House Associates, LLC. He co-founded Continental Cablevision in 1963 where her served as its chairman and CEO from 1980 to 1996. During his tenure there, he grew the company to become the third largest company in the cable television business. Renamed Media One in 1996 when acquired by US West, it was subsequently sold to AT&T, then to Comcast. During his cable years, Hostetter served on the National Cable Television Association board and as its chairman from 1973 to 1974. He was a founding director and chairman of C-SPAN and of Cable in the Classroom, and a founder of Cable Labs. He has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the Cable Television Hall of Fame, and the Cable TV Pioneers in recognition of his leadership and contributions to the field.
Hostetter has given tirelessly of his time and expertise, serving on multiple boards throughout his career and lifetime, including the boards of the Children’s Television Workshop (Sesame Street) to which he was appointed by President Ford and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He has also served on the boards of Colonial Williamsburg Society, Nantucket Conservation Foundation, New England Medical Center, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Perkins School for the Blind, North Bennet Street School, and Belmont Hill School.
He is currently chair emeritus of the boards of Amherst College and WGBH and currently co-chairs, with Boston Mayor Walsh, the Green Ribbon Commission, a council of leaders convened by former Boston Mayor Menino to advise on and help advance the City’s Climate Action Plan. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, which recognized him with an Alumni Achievement Award in 1994.
About the Charles Eliot Award
Each year, The Trustees recognizes an individual or organization that has made a significant impact to conservation in Massachusetts with the prestigious Charles Eliot Award. Charles Eliot, a landscape architect and protégé of Frederick Law Olmsted, founded The Trustees in response to the effects of growing populations and industrialization on Boston residents. At the time, Boston was losing its open space as the nation’s fourth largest manufacturing center with plants and factories springing up everywhere and consuming farmland, countryside, riverfronts, and even historic sites. As Boston’s population swelled and living conditions were deplorable, Eliot had the radical idea to set aside land for country parks that would provide fresh air, scenic beauty, and opportunities for quiet repose – antidotes to the ills of urban life. In a letter dated March 5, 1890 to the editor of Garden and Forest—Eliot outlined a “scheme” to save some of the “finest bits of natural scenery near Boston,” for the “delight [of] many future generations.” His letter became the catalyst for a movement that convinced the Massachusetts State Legislature to establish, just one year later (Chapter 352 of the Acts of 1891), a unique statewide organization “for the purposes of acquiring, holding, maintaining and opening to the public … beautiful and historic places … within the Commonwealth.” Thus, The Trustees of (Public) Reservations was created and became the first preservation organization of its kind in the world. Within that same year, Eliot also helped to establish the state’s first regional park district, the Metropolitan Parks Commission (MPC), which later became the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) and is now the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).