There is a wonderful story on northjersey.com on Stiles Thomas, co-creator of the treasured Celery Farm Nature Preserve in Allendale. Thomas, who served as Marsh Warden for 26years, died in May at age 99.
As noted in the story, “In 1981, Thomas collaborated with then-Mayor Edward Fitzpatrick to create what was then the nation’s first municipally owned wetlands, a 60-acre former celery farm gradually enlarged to what is now a 107-acre preserve. Thomas then served 26 years as the borough’s first marsh warden.
“In the 1950s he was known as the “Blue Bird Man” for building and installing hundreds of birdhouses to repopulate western New Jersey with bluebirds, decimated by the pesticide DDT. He started the first hawk watch at Mount Peter, New York, in 1957. He supervised the watch for migrating hawks at State Line Lookout in Alpine, and led birding trips to Belize in the Caribbean for 20 years.”
Access the Celery Farm blog here