August 20, 2013 marked one year since the passing of Dr. Guy A. Baldassarre, Distinguished Teaching professor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). Guy was an internationally respected waterfowl and wetland ecologist and a beloved educator, researcher, mentor, husband, father, and much more. The memory of Guy’s energy, intellect, and passion will live on in everyone who knew him, and in other notable ways. ESF has established a scholarship fund in Guy’s name, and Dr. Sue Sheaffer has committed to completing Guy’s work on a brand new edition of Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America.
In addition to these tributes, a wetland habitat restoration project will be completed and dedicated to Guy at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex in central New York. Guy always stressed the importance of habitat conservation for waterfowl, and this project will honor that belief. Planning for “Guy’s Marsh” is well underway – an 87-acre area of abandoned farmland owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been selected for the project; Ducks Unlimited (DU) has developed detailed engineering plans to restore 55 acres of emergent marsh and establish 32 acres of grassland cover (see figure); federal and state permits are in hand; and construction is expected to begin this fall. Planning for public use of the area, including waterfowl viewing facilities and an outdoor classroom, will begin this fall too, with the help of Landscape Architecture staff at ESF. We anticipate project completion in 2014, with a dedication event to be held in the spring.
The concept of Guy’s Marsh was announced last winter, with a call for donations from anyone who knew Guy or who benefitted in any way from his many contributions and accomplishments. The response to date has been great, as more than 50 people have contributed a total of $13,500 to help fund the project. To ensure that our vision for this project is realized, we are asking once again for contributions to the Guy’s Marsh project, and you can do that by sending a donation to Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex (http://www.friendsofmontezuma.org/guys-marsh.html). Contributions can also be made to DU’s “Completing the Cycle” Initiative which will help fund the project; for more information about this initiative, contact Matt Fenoff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions to either fund are tax deductible and will serve as matching funds for North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants that have been extremely valuable for wetlands restoration in the Montezuma Complex.
Our goal for donor contributions to Guy’s Marsh via the Friends of Montezuma is $25,000, and we’re over half way there. Donations of any amount are welcome, but contributions of $250 or more will be acknowledged in perpetuity at the project site upon completion. We thank all who contributed already. To all who knew or appreciated what Guy did, please consider making a new or additional donation to ensure timely completion of this memorial project in his honor.
For more information, visit the Friends website where site photos and development plans will be posted soon, or contact Bryan Swift at email@example.com or 518-894-6498.
Thank you for your support!
“Guy’s Marsh” Planning Committee: Bryan Swift, Jim Eckler, Dave Odell, Sarah Fleming, Mike Schummer, and Eileen Baldassarre