Mike Pretl

Michael A. Pretl, was an attorney and environmentalist who served with distinction on the Board of Directors for the Wicomico Environmental Trust. His death from a heart attack at age 76 left a deep void in the business and environmental communities and in the hearts of many business associates, colleagues and friends.  

A Georgetown law school graduate and a distinguished attorney, Mike was a partner at Smith, Somerville and Case law firm for many years, before starting his own firm to fight for women rendered infertile by the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device. He became General Counsel to the American Urological Association where he remained for 17 years.

As a community activist and an early president of the Northeast Community Organization and Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., Mike was involved in the fight to peacefully integrate Northeast Baltimore. Life Magazine designated Greater Northwood as one of the best integrated communities in the country. Mike was a longtime board member of the Community Law Center, offering pro bono representation to communities in need of legal representation to combat vacant housing, liquor license violations and urban blight. He was most proud of his affiliation with Marylanders against Handgun Abuse, advocating for common sense laws to protect people from unlawful weapons.

Upon his arrival on the Eastern shore in 2003, Mike began helping local groups to achieve their nonprofit status.  At the time of his death in 2108, Mike received nonprofit designations for more than 100 organizations. One of his most important projects was the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, a group of local and statewide organizations working to make certain that all Marylanders had access to quality healthcare. He served as the secretary / treasurer and counsel to the board at the time of his death.

Mike was a past president of multiple environmental organizations including the Wicomico Environmental Trust, Lower Shore Land Trust, Nanticoke Watershed Alliance and Friends of the Nanticoke. He was particularly concerned about the effects of sprawl on local farmland and offered pro bono services to residents taking action against development in agricultural communities. Following retirement, he taught environmental law at Salisbury University and at the MAC Center and served on the board of Delmarva Public Radio.Mike Pretl served as an inspiration to all environmentalists and his legacy lives on today. It is people like Mike who remind us every day of our collective responsibility to protect the earth and advocate for practices that preserve our surroundings.

This page recognizing exceptional service to the environment in Wicomico County is dedicated to Mike Pretl for his extraordinary lifetime of service.

Ann G. Candler

Ann G. Candler taught writing and composition at Baltimore City Community College for 24 years until retiring in 2012.
Ann G. Candler

In May, 2019 Wicomico Environmental Trust received a large endowment from the estate of Ann G. Candler, a long-time professor of writing and composition at Baltimore City Community College until her retirement in 2012 at the age of 84.

Mrs. Candler was a lifelong resident of Baltimore, a 1945 graduate of Eastern High School and recipient of a bachelor’s degree in French in 1949 from Goucher College, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1955, she received a master’s degree in education from the Johns Hopkins University. Mrs. Candler had also attended Peabody Preparatory, where she studied piano and performed in operettas.

Ann taught at Hampstead Hill Junior High School during the 1960s. She was a longtime member and past president of the Woman’s Club of Roland Park. She was married for 48 years to John B. Candler, a Central Savings Bank executive, who died in 2006. Mrs. Candler was a member of St. David’s Episcopal Church and is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Gillis Candler of Chevy Chase, and a grandson.

Mrs. Candler had multiple hobbies that including playing the piano, reading and doing crossword puzzles. She often spoke of her love of working on her great-grandfather’s farm in Whitehaven, near Salisbury, resulting in her generous bequest.    

Wicomico Environmental Trust is grateful to Mrs. Candler for her generous gift. As WET aspires to preserve, protect and celebrate the natural resources of Wicomico County, including the agricultural community, we are reminded that it is generous individuals like Ann who enable our organization to continue to advocate successfully for environmental stewardship.  


John Groutt Award for Environmental Stewardship

  • 2020 Jerry Kelly
  • 2019 Salisbury Mayor Jake Day
  • 2018 Reverend Dr. Frieda Malcolm
  • 2017 Dan Savoy
  • 2016 Jay Martin

Mike Pretl Award for Environmental Advocacy

  • 2020 Hemalatha Bhaskaran
  • 2019 Kate Patton
  • 2018 Matt Drew
  • 2017 Barry Johansson
  • 2016 Martin Hutchinson

Academic Excellence in Science Award

  • 2020 Simon Lewis

Green Business Award

  • 2020 Jeremy Norton, Owner, Roadie Joe’s Bar & Grill
  • 2019 Rise Up

Volunteer of the Year

  • 2020 Sam Gibson
  • 2019 Judith Burns

Farm of the Year

  • 2021 – First year of the Award

Wicomico River Creekwatchers Years of Service Recognition

Charter Members (18 Years)

  • Clint Bradley (retired as of 2020)
  • Mike and Cassy Lewis
  • Lynne and Mac Peverley
  • Nancy and Dr. Richard Reddish
  • Mat Tilghman
  • Stuart Wikander
  • Bill and Judy Wyatt

10 plus years

  • Peter Bozick (14 years)
  • Kathy Cordrey (15 or more years)
  • Bill Day (10-plus years)
  • Bob and Winona Houcutt (10 Years)