Whether you are a nature enthusiast, book lover, young conservationist, student, teacher, or Refuge friend, you are invited to participate in America's WildRead community discussion. This blog is provided to you by the Friends of the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Conservation Library. All are welcome!
Monday, September 9, 2013
Introducing Author Betsy Hilbert and Moderator Debbie Beer
Endangered loggerhead sea turtle hatches on the beach at Back Bay NWR, VA.
Betsy Hilbert was born in Brooklyn in 1941, but has lived in Miami since the age of five. She has her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Miami and her Ph.D. from the Union Graduate School. Hilbert has taught in the Independent Studies Department at Miami-Dade Community College since the mid-sixties, and she is known for her scholarly work on women's nature writing as well as her literary essays about the natural world. In the following essay about her efforts on behalf of endangered loggerhead turtles, she conducts a careful examination of the complexities inherent in human efforts to restore the natural world. She concludes that, even a universe that is "already disturbed" and in a region where the future is already written in concrete, her best choice is to work on behalf of the turtles.
Communications Chairperson, Friends of Heinz Refuge, Philadelphia
I’ve loved being outdoors for as long as I can remember. My parents raised my family in bustling suburbia, in Ocean County New Jersey, along the Jersey shore. I didn’t realize until I was a teenager, how unusual it was for kids to spend all day, every day (school aside) playing in the woods, coming home dirty, exhausted and exhilerated! That’s what my sister and I did, cultivating a deep affection for nature and critters of all shapes and sizes. We looked for Box Turtles in our backyard fields, flipped logs in search of salamanders, examined tree leaves and bark.
Today I live just outside of Philadelphia, on a standard-size quarter-acre suburban lot. I’ve transformed the backyard into wildlife-friendly habitat, with native shrubs and multiple bird feeders, providing much enjoyment from the back porch. But I don’t get to spend much time on the back porch – I’m too busy volunteering at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, guiding bird walks, developing environmental education programs, creating marketing-outreach materials, fundraising and serving on the Friends of Heinz Refuge board of directors.
I discovered Heinz Refuge about 10 years ago, when I lived in center city Philadelphia and became a birder. The Refuge was the most convenient place to spend a few hours birding. I’ve since travelled to many birding hotspots around the U.S., and outside the country, but Heinz Refuge remains my favorite place. I am endlessly inspired by the Refuge’s year-round diversity of species, supported by myriad habitats. I’ve met many wonderful people there, who appreciate the beauty, peace and inspiration of the Refuge as much as I do. I’m an avid reader and writer, and being involved in Friends of Heinz Refuge provides ample opportunity for experiencing the natural world through words.I look forward to exchanging ideas about this “Wild Read” selection.