WILKES-BARRE Susan Gallagher grew up in the McAdoo area with an appreciation and love of the outdoors she got from her parents, John and Susan Mock.
That alone would not make the Marian High and East Stroudsburg University graduate unique, but her willingness and ability to pass on that passion as chief naturalist at the Carbon County Environmental Education Center in White Bear is what separates her from countless thousands of sportsmen. Thursday, Gallagher, who lives in Weatherly with her husband Jack and their two dogs, was recognized for her work as the planner, teacher and coordinator of all the environmental educational activities at the CCEEC with one of seven 2010 Environmental Partnership Awards presented by the Northeast Pennsylvania Environmental Partners at its 20th anniversary dinner at the Woodlands Inn and Resort.
"It's an honor to be recognized and receive an award for simply doing something you enjoy," Gallagher said. "This is a credit to our entire staff, and I also have to thank my husband for his support because, let's face it, someone who enjoys holding opossums can be tough to live with."
Gallagher has been with the CCEEC since 1988 and became chief naturalist in '98, combining her environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation skills to provide CCEEC visitors with a unique perspective of the results of human interaction with our natural environment and wildlife. Among her other activities, she is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, a volunteer for the Carbon County Ground Water Guardians, a member of the WNEP-TV's "Pennsylvania Outdoor Life" field staff and holds a seat on the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Wildlife Rehabilitation Council.
Tim Herd of Bath was presented with the 16th Annual Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award for his dedication to providing environmental education and promoting community collaboration for the benefit of the environment in northeastern Pennsylvania over the last 30 years. Among his many projects was being the chief designer of the CCEEC.
Other area organizations receiving Environmental Partnership Awards were the Honey Hole Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation for its work as member of the Field Habitat Partnership at Nescopeck State Park; the Keystone Active Zone Passport Program of Luzerne County; the Schuylkill County Sportsman Association for its conservation and educational programs, including the three-day Norm Thornburg Youth Conservation Camp, a youth field and a women's outdoors day; and Don Miller, technology instructor at Clear Run Elementary Center in Monroe County.
Environmental Partnership Awards and the annual dinner are projects of Wilkes University, Pennsylvania Environmental Council's Northeast Office, Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, Procter and Gamble Paper Products Company, PPL Corporation, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Awards are open to any group, individual, company, program or organization located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, or those whose work has had a positive impact on the environment of the northeastern Pennsylvania community. That area is comprised of Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.
For information on the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, visit the website at www.pecpa.org .