Join us as we continue shining light on extraordinary visionaries who have made our parks what they are today. With their dedication and activism, these remarkable individuals not only helped shape our state parks but environmental history! We call these environmental protectors the Pioneers of Preservation.
A Powerhouse of Preservation: Charles A. Salkin
Charles A. “Chazz” Salkin helped to mold Delaware State Parks into an impactful organization with broad partnerships, opportunities for engagement and extensive preservation. During his decades-long tenure with parks, Chazz prioritized conserving tens of thousands of acres, sharing and safeguarding our cultural heritage, building strong relationships with other organizations, and amplifying volunteerism. To this day, Chazz is still working to further environmental causes in the First State.
An Influential Naturalist and Activist: Lorraine Fleming
As a child growing up near the dwindling prairies of the Chicago area, Lorraine Fleming learned from a young age the importance of protecting and preserving open spaces and natural resources before they disappear to development. As a volunteer for the Delaware Nature Society in the 1970s, Fleming wrote Delaware’s Outstanding Natural Areas and Their Preservation – a comprehensive catalog of Delaware’s best remaining natural sites. This reference is still used by conservationists today to evaluate the changes in Delaware’s natural landscapes. Fleming was the driving force behind the preservation of more than 120,000 acres of Delaware’s open space and farmland, the successful passage of the Natural Areas Preservation Act of 1978, the Conservation Easement Act of 1978 and spearheaded the tax check-off for wildlife!
A Leader for Environmental Protection: Ted Harvey
Despite living many years is Florida, Ted Harvey held fond childhood memories of boating, hiking, and fishing at Trussum Pond in Laurel! When he returned to Delaware as an adult, he was discouraged by the area’s growth and fearful of coming changes. In 1961, Harvey founded the Delaware Wild Lands, Inc., specifically to preserve Trussum Pond, becoming the state’s first non-profit land preservation organization. What began as a local mission to protect Trussum Pond became a campaign to protect other areas of Delaware from development: Angola Neck, Woodland Beach, Milford Neck, and the Augustine and Appoquinimink River system. Harvey’s commitment to preservation now reaches further to include natural areas in Maryland and Virginia!