One of the best things about leading the Bergen County Audubon Society as 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 year’s winners are: Gerry Byrne, Jill Homcy, Jayson Hajek, and James Preisendanz.
This award is named in honor of Harold Feinberg, our longtime member and field trip chairman for many years. Harold has been a mentor and an enthusiastic supporter of our endeavors and has always given freely of his expertise with a combination of patience and knowledge that few possess.
Please join us on Wednesday December 16th 7:30pm At Teaneck Creek Conservancy when we will present the awards to this years honorees. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-230-4983.
Click continue reading below for information on this year’s winners.
BCAS/Harold Feinberg Conservation Award 2015 Winners
Gerry Byrne – Oradell
Gerry is a longtime member of BCAS who served on the Board as the Director for Conservation from 2003-2011. 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 has been an active participant in the Christmas Bird Count.
Gerry serves as Secretary 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 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 videotaped a dozen eagles roosting on and near the site. This video proved a critical tool in confirming the area as an important winter roost site, which has been accepted by NJDEP and US Fish and Wildlife, 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 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 amapo State Park to identify wildlife and native plants with the ultimate goal of restoring a natural habitat. Their Bear Run Environmental team has 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 and more. Three of these properties have been registered as Certified Monarch Waystations. Our many thanks to James and Jayson for their dedication and hard work.