One of the best things about leading Bergen Audubon as the President has been the opportunity to meet so many devoted, hardworking people in many small communities around Bergen County that are committed to conservation and making the environment a better place not only for the wildlife but also for their entire community . These unsung heroes have given of themselves with little recognition and often with personal sacrifice. So it is in their honor that we are proud to announce our winners of the 6th annual “Bergen County Audubon/Harold Feinberg Conservation Award”.
This award is named in honor of Harold Feinberg, our long time member and field trip chairman for many years. Harold has been a mentor, an enthusiastic supporter of our endeavors and has always given freely of his expertise with a combination of patience and knowledge that few possess.
Gerry Byrne- River Edge Gerry is a longtime member of BCAS who served on the Board as the Director for Conservation from 2003 to 2011. During this time she kept the club abreast of environmental issues at the national, state and local level. She along with her husband, Harry, has led field trips for BCAS for more than 15 years and she has been an active participant in the Christmas Bird Count. Gerry serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Bergen County Soil Conservation District and is a member of the Bergen County Environmental Council. She has served as an advisor to the Bergen County Parks Commission to bring in native plants to the New Overpeck Park and she also serves as a monitor for the Eagle Project for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Wildlife Division. Gerry Has a lifetime of service to the wildlife and people of Bergen County
Jill Homcy –Lincoln Park Jill is being recognized for this year’s Conservation award for her work to help preserve the Ridgefield Park bald Eagles nest. Jill’s hard work and dedication documenting this important nesting pair of eagles has proved crucial in our battle to protect and preserve the Overpeck nesting site.
In Early January 2014 Jill video-taped a dozen eagles roosting on and near the site , this video proved a critical tool in confirming that the area as an important winter roost site which has been accepted by NJDEP and also the USF&Ws which helped determine the decision to preserve the surrounding area and the nest .
Jill has continued documenting the nesting stages and the newly fledged eaglets each year, distributing those videos directly to the state and federal government agencies .
Jill’s unselfish volunteerism is what our award is all about and we cannot thank her enough.
Jayson Hajek and James Preisendanz of the Bear Run Environmental Team
Jayson and James both of West Milford have worked tirelessly in Ramapo State Park to identify wildlife and native plants with the ultimate goal of restoring a natural habitat. Their Bear Run Environmental team have established an on-site native plant propagation facility and planted almost 20,000 native plants in the last two years. Recently they have grown over 3,000 milkweed plants which were grown specifically for Monarch Butterflies. These plants have been distributed throughout many properties to encourage and ensure future generations of wildlife, butterflies, birds, etc. . Three of these properties have been registered as Certified Monarch Waystations. Our many thanks to James and Jayson for their dedication and hard work.
Please Join Bergen County Audubon Society at our Holiday Party when we
will present the awards to these four amazing individuals.