2019 BCAS/Harold Feinberg Conservation Awards
Pictured along with Don Torino and Karen Nickeson are awardees: (left) Dee De Santis; (middle) Canco officers, Irene Stamos, Kevin Link, Dawn Giambalvo; (right) Michele Gillies
BCAS has proudly awarded its 10th annual “Bergen County Audubon/Harold Feinberg Conservation Awards.” This recognition is bestowed upon those who have given generously of themselves often with personal sacrifice. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
The Conservation Award is named in honor of the late Harold Feinberg, BCAS Board member and field trip chairman for many years. Harold was a mentor, an enthusiastic supporter of our endeavors and always gave freely of his expertise with a combination of patience and knowledge that few possess.
Our first awardee for 2019 is Dee De Santis who has monitored the Ridgefield Park Bald Eagle nest for the past three years. Reporting to the NJDEP, Dee reports any encroachment upon the nest and documents the behavior of the birds, adding valuable data needed to understand the life cycle of these urban nesters. Dee also documents our eagles with her impressive photographs, some of which have been used by Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, helping people to understand how successful these local eagles have become. Our Eagle Lady has worked tirelessly to protect these iconic birds and we are proud to offer this recognition.
Our Canco Park Conservancy awardees are recognized for their efforts in establishing a green space in a very urban, diverse neighborhood where there once was an empty lot on Dey Street in Jersey City. Since 2018 the Conservancy has strived to maintain a healthy environment for wildlife and humans by keeping the park pesticide and herbicide free. Their mission is strongly based in education, restoration and conservation of open public green space, while encouraging healthful living. They have been recognized by the North American Butterfly Association and Monarchwatch for their pollinator garden, as well as the Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation for its native plantings and wildlife habitat restoration efforts. Congratulations to Irene Stamos, Kevin Link, and Dawn Giambalvo for their impressive achievements.
The third 2019 awardee Is Michele Gillies who works tirelessly to contribute to water cleanups throughout the northern NJ area. Michele’s cleanups include, Liberty State Park, Bayonne nature club cleanups, Raritan River cleanups, Hackensack River cleanups in Bergen and Rockland Counties, Newark waterfront cleanups, NY-NJ Bay-keeper cleanups, and Passaic River cleanups, as well as spontaneous random trash and plastic cleanups. She’s considered a hero and a staple volunteer among the regional network of nature group water cleanups. Michele’s energy and commitment is an inspiration to all who care about our local environment.
It is with great gratitude and pleasure that we recognize all of our conservation stars with the Harold Feinberg Conservation Award.
Our on-the-ground conservation work is fueled by citizen science, advocacy, and education. Our activities include:
Restoration Through Our Native Plant Gardens
Native Plants restore the balance of the habitat and benefit birds and other wildlife. These gardens are learning places for anyone interested in knowing more about the importance of native plants and how they can be used in their own backyard.
- Butterfly Garden at Overpeck Preserve, Overpeck Park
- Butterfly Garden at Teaneck Creek Conservancy
- Dr. Ben Burton Native Plants Garden at Teaneck Creek Conservancy
Promoting Backyard Habitats
With open space continuing to be lost in Bergen County and New Jersey, backyard habitats are becoming even more important as places for birds and other wildlife to find food and shelter. They are also vital for our migratory bird species on their Spring and Fall journeys along the Atlantic Flyway. See our Healthy Backyards page for info on creating a backyard habitat and the importance of native plants.
Our Partners in Conservation
The following organizations received funding from Bergen County Audubon Society:
- The Nature Conservancy
- American Bird Conservancy
- Friends of Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge
- The Raptor Trust
- National Wildlife Refuge Association
Injured or Orphaned Bird?
1. Determine whether or not an injured or orphaned bird needs help:
2. If the bird does need help, a list of rehabilitators in New Jersey:
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