Daily Archives: October 9, 2020

Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: Bergen County Audubon – Harold Feinberg Conservation Award Winners 2020

As Bergen County Audubon President I couldn’t be more proud to announce our 2020 Conservation Award winners. These two amazing women have dedicated themselves to protecting and preserving our environment and have created a better place not only for wildlife but also a healthier planet for all of us to live.

Alexa Fantacone 

Alexa has been the Executive Director of Teaneck Creek Conservancy for the past five years. Within this role, and in her personal life, she is committed to conservation and inspiring others to protect our environment.

She is a mentor and enthusiastic educator of students who visit Teaneck Creek. Alexa makes environmental education exciting and captivates students with hands-on programs that engage them in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning, water quality testing, invasive species removal and more. She goes out of her way to make personal connections with students and learn about their passions. Alexa gives students a new passion for the natural world and many express an interest in pursuing careers in conservation, environmental science and STEM. She is particularly inspiring to young girls who come to see science as an exciting career option for women.

Alexa is also the Chairwoman for the Nature Program Cooperative, where she works to bring together the knowledge and resources of nature centers, parks, and environmental educators in Northern New Jersey. In addition, she recently became a board member at EarthShare, a national conservation organization which connects environmental nonprofits with companies in order to increase the impact of donations and volunteer actions. During her free time Alexa volunteers at Tenafly Nature Center’s aviary, feeding the raptors. 

Nancy Slowik

Nancy serves as Urban Naturalist Program Coordinator at the New York Botanical Garden. She also acts as lead consultant for the Restore Native Plants team, directing the propagation facility at the Ramapo Mountain Park Preserve since 2013. In that capacity, Nancy provides guidance for native plant propagation and restoration projects. She formulates planting patterns to attract wildlife and enhance biodiversity. Nancy has been teaching natural history programs and leading guided walks in Bergen County and the greater metropolitan area for 35 years and is the author of A Naturalist’s Guide to the Southern Palisades (2006).

Many BCAS members may know Nancy as Naturalist/Director of Greenbrook Sanctuary where she taught and mentored for more than 25 years. Her contribution as a conservation educator and her stewardship of the Sanctuary established her reputation as a dedicated protector of the environment of the southern Palisades. Nancy’s tenure at Greenbrook helped foster many collegial relationships with local naturalists and cooperative programs, working with Bergen Swan, Stateline Hawkwatch, and training for the TCC Weed Warriors.

She has been a research associate for Hudsonia Field Station, where she has contributed to biodiversity assessments and research projects.  Nancy was the co-founder of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center – the first native plant propagation program for the New York City Parks Department.