Pine Barrens Festival Award 2019: Walter Bien, PhD

Dr. Bien Was awarded on Saturday 7/27/19 at the Pine Barren's Festival

Dr. Walter F. Bien recently retired as a research professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Science at Drexel University where he served as Director of the Laboratory of Pinelands Research.  Before teaching at Drexel University, Dr. Bien was a public educator for 31 years.

Dr. Bien is Principal Investigator at the Warren Grove Gunnery Range (WGR), Burlington County, New Jersey where his research focuses on community ecology, conservation biology (with special emphasis on the Northern Pine snake), natural resource management, and military impacts to the Pine Barrens ecosystem.


In 2006 and 2012 Dr. Bien’s research supported the Air National Guard Environmental Excellence Award, and in 2014 his research supported the United States Air Force top environmental award, the General Thomas D. White Installation Award, for the Natural Resources Conservation Program, at the Warren Grove Range.


His research has been highlighted on New Jersey News Science Edition, New Jersey NPR: Sounds of Science, and in People of the Pines (2007) by Plexus Press. He has collaborated with researchers from Rutgers University, Columbia University, Montclair University, Ramapo College, William Patterson, Temple University, USDA, New Jersey Pinelands Commission, and New Jersey DEP on Pinelands issues. 


Dr. Bien has mentored dozens of graduate students and is the author or co-author on numerous scientific publications.  He is a member of numerous professional organizations and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in marine field methods, tropical ecology, terrestrial ecology and field botany. Dr. Bien is a strong advocate for environmental conservation and has collaborated with other scientists, government agencies, and NGOs with research interests in the Pine Barrens.


Since his retirement in 2018, he has conducted a survey for the NJ Natural Lands Trust for the barking treefrog, Hyla gratiosa, at Bennetts Bog, Cape May County. He is currently conducting bee surveys at the Warren Grove Gunnery Range for the NJDEP as part of the collaborative Northeast US Bee Survey, as well as conducting a rare species survey for the NJ Natural Lands Trust at the Sooy Place Preserve, Burlington County, NJ and conducting a survey of pine snake nesting sites for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.


Poster presentations of some of his recent research can be viewed in the Pine Barrens Booth at this year’s Pine Barrens Festival.

Volunteer Service Awards presented at the 2019 Pine Barrens Festival

Medford Township

Service Award Monday July 22, 2019

Burlington County War Monument Committee

The committee is responsible for the fundraising, purchase, and installation of four war monuments and the battlefield cross at Freedom Park, 

Medford NJ

Woodland Township

Service Award Tuesday July 23 2019

Michael Huber

Michael is a township resident who not only volunteers his time to be a member of our Land Use Board, but always lends a hand when the township is in need. As a small town, we have very limited resources. When snow hits, Michael is available with his supply of plows and equipment to assist the township with snow removal. Also on numerous occasions, Mike has assisted the township when there is a need to use high reaching equipment which saves the township thousands of dollars by not having to rent our equipment. Just recently, our flag pole light needed to be replaced. Mike came through offering his lift and his time, with no cost to the township.

We truly appreciate residents like Mike and feel that these are the people who make Woodland Township such a great community!!!

Southampton Township

Service Award Thursday July 25, 2019

Evelyn (Evie) Doherty

Evelyn moved to Leisuretowne in Southampton, NJ in 2002. She served on the Southampton Zoning Board for over 10 years and the Planning Board for 3 years. Evelyn is State Certified to serve on Zoning and Planning Boards.

She was elected to the Southampton School Board in 2004 for a three year term during which she wrote several articles for the Leisuretowne Watchdog regarding school happenings. She has also served on the Southampton School Budget Committee.

Evelyn was elected to the Leisuretowne Board of Trustees and has served the Board as Secretary, Vice President, and Assistant Treasurer. Evie has been a member of the Leisuretowne Harmonizers, the Singers, the Singles, the Curtain Callers, and the Civic League.

Evie is a member of St Mary of the Lakes Church in Medford.

She was a self employed computer consultant from 1982 to 2001. She was a reseller of Acer Computer Systems and provided software service to many and varied institutions, contractors, and manufacturing, transportation and utility companies. She has been selected to the Marquis Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who of Business and Finance.

Shamong Township

Service Award Friday July 26, 2019

Jeff Siedlecki

Jeff has served the community in many ways including:

Shamong Foundation for Educational Excellence Trustee for more than 8 years helping to raise over $100K.

Leader in Boy Scouts of America where he has served in several capacities and created the Christmas Tree Recycling for Boy Scout Troop 47 which raises funds for summer camp. This program earned for Jeff the Hornaday Award from BSA.

He has served on the Shamong Township Board of Education since 2006. Jeff received the President’s National Volunteer Service Award from President Bush in 2004, and from President Obama and the Freedom Corporation in 2009.

He is a member of the Holy Eucharist Church and participates in the Knights of Columbus, Eucharistic Ministers, the Wine Fest, and the Pine Barrens Festival. We at Holy Eucharist are so grateful to Jeff for his creativity and building skills which he so generously shares with us particularly in Adult and Youth Faith Formation. Jeff is the leader for our teenage youth program which focuses on faith development and social justice issues. We, teenagers, parents and adult team members, are so very blessed to be the recipients of his leadership and organizational skills.

Tabernacle Township

Service Award Saturday July 27, 2019

Maryann Silvers

Maryann has been involved with the Virtua (West Jersey) Hospital Auxiliary Board, since 1972. She has held both the President and Vice President position on the Board. Maryann has volunteered at the hospital as a general clerk and NICU Baby Cuddler.

She is proud to be the past Corresponding Secretary and Communications Officer for Nu Chapter Sisters of Alpha Zeta State, Delta Kappa Gamma International Society. She used her creative talents producing the newsletter for Nu Chapter.

Mary Ann is the President of the Historical Society of Tabernacle Township. Putting her librarian’s skills to good use, she has been busy cataloging all the items held in the possession of the Society. In addition, she is active in giving tours, fund-raising and researching the town’s history.

Maryann has served in the Tabernacle School District for 28 years as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher and then as librarian.

Maryann and Harry are married for 52 years. They are proud parents of Brian and Steven and their families, especially their granddaughters, Ava, Aubrey,and Georgia.

Thank you to our 2019 Festival sponsors

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