Happy New Year to each of you and yours from the Frieds of Blue Heron Park! At the request of our Board of Directors, we submit the following:
Back on September 20, 2012, we (Jack & Lois Baird) were honored by the Democratic Association of Staten Island for our environmental work involving Blue Heron Park. The Terence H. Benbow Environmental Award was presented to the Bairds by his son. However, Cliff Hagen, Vice President of our Board, having known us for a very long time, came prepared with a speech ready to present the award to us. He never got the chance to present this speech that night. We now would like to share his nice speech with all of you, as follows:
For more than three decades, Jack and Lois Baird have been advocating on behalf of 250 acres of freshwater wetlands and woodlands in southeast Annadale called Blue Heron Park. And for this alone they well deserve the recognition of the Terrence H. Benbow Environmental Award.
But there is so much more to this man and woman, this husband and wife.
Both Jack and Lois are octogenarians. They have been working as one for more than fifty years.
After serving as a Photographer in the US Navy for four years, Jack met Lois at the first meeting of the Staten Island Ski Club. They married within a year, bought some property and built the home they still live in today. In that home, the Bairds raised three wonderful children. Their daughters, Kerry and Allison, are both successful professionals encouraged by loving men. The Baird?s son, Glen, who will always be with us, dedicated his life to guarding our ports with the United States Customs Service.
While Lois brought their children toward adulthood Jack served his community as a firefighter and as a Scoutmaster.
Like many strong marriages, the Bairds' marriage finds strength in their church. They have seen pastors and parishioners come and go, but they continue to welcome newcomers and cherish old friendships.
Having recently said her final goodbyes to childhood friends, Lois was still visiting women who stood beside her when she wed. She would have lunch with Shirley and they would deliver groceries for Joan. For Jack and Lois, friendship is a life-long commitment.
So, in 1976, the Bairds heard of plans to build three six-story apartment buildings in the woods down the block from their home. With nothing more than their love for community and a shared tenacity you can only imagine, Jack and Lois went to court with neighbors and won a work-stop order. They convinced Protectors of Pine Oak Woods to address their issue, joined the Board of Directors and led Protectors? advocacy for the neighborhood park they envisioned.
In the days before email, Twitter and Skype Jack and Lois finessed the workings of city government, building relationships with people like Jane Cleaver, Tom Paulo, Commissioner Henry Stern and Senator John Marchi. With the help of Ellen Overby, Howie Fischer, Russ and Bea Nicholson, Ellen Pratt and Brad Greene, Blue Heron Park became a reality in 1984 at 154 acres.
Once the park was established the Bairds set their sights on creating a nature center where the Friends of Blue Heron Park share environmental education programs with children. Each year, as many as 13,000 children learn of the natural world because of Jack and Lois Baird. Each year the Scarecrow Festival is enjoyed by hundreds of families at Blue Heron Park because of Jack and Lois Baird. Eagle Scouts complete group projects and Girl Scouts have received their Gold Awards because of Jack and Lois Baird. Staten Island is a better place to live because of Jack and Lois Baird so please stand with me and applaud Jack and Lois Baird.
And now go on to read and choose those programs which might be of interest to you.
By the way, dues are due for those of you that joined before June 2012. Dues are collected once a year, which helps keep our Programs free of charge.
We sustained a lot of tree damage by ?Sandy,? and so the Nature Center and trails at Blue Heron will be closed until further notice. Because of this damage, the start of our programs will be delayed AT LEAST UNTIL JANUARY 15TH . Call us at 718-317-1732 for the latest updates.
See you at the Park.
Jack and Lois Baird
President & Secretary
PLEASE SAVE A TREE!
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE THIS BULLETIN BY EMAIL, PLEASE EMAIL US: firstname.lastname@example.org
For your pleasure, every Saturday and Sunday there is a naturalist-guided walk at 1:15 and another at 2:15, leaving from the Blue Heron Nature Center.
NATURE LIBRARY - Visit Blue Heron Nature Centers NATURE LIBRARY, a collection of guidebooks, books & magazines about nature in the NYC area -- for adults, youngsters & children. The NATURE LIBRARY is available daily, except Monday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Nature Center -- for your study & enjoyment.
President: Jack Baird * VP: Cliff Hagen
Corresponding Secretary: Lois Baird * Recording Secretary: Elaine Croteau
Treasurer: Ellen Overby
Dave Bernstein * Dominick Durso
Howie Fischer * Denny Pizzini
Mike Shanley * Gert Coleman
Bill Tellefsen * Eva Callahan
Executive Director: Ellen Pratt
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