It's Women's History Month, folks, and in celebration the National Women's History Project is giving props to quite a few New Jersey natives who have contributed significantly to making this a "greener" world--and as we march with hope into the very green seaon of spring, we thought you, too, might enjoy reading about their achievements. The first honoree, Sylvia Earle, a pre-eminent oceanographer and environmentalist, is featured in a documentary whose first airing was Wednesday evening on PBS called "Journey to Planet Earth: State of the Planet's Oceans". So take a look at how much women from our fair state have added to the ongoing struggle to make a cleaner, greener world to live in. (Check your local listings for channels and times).
Sylvia Alice Earle
Oceanographer and Environmentalist
New Jersey Alaska Hawaii
Sylvia Earle was the first woman chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She led the investigations of the impact of the burning of Kuwait's oil fields and the devastation caused by the Exxon Vladez in Prince William Sound in Alaska. With a group of other women scientists she lived underwater for 2 weeks to study marine environment and the effects of isolation on humans.
Caroline Rose Foster
1877 - 1977
Farmer; First County Deputy Sheriff; Community Organizer; Benefactor
Caroline Rose Foster created and donated the first outdoor living historical farm in New Jersey, which remains a strong place for learning thirty-years after her death. An environmentalist, she worked to preserve the historic places within the County of Morris, New Jersey including the Morris County Park Commission which preserves 38 county parks and over 17,500 acres of land in northern New Jersey.
Matilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen
1888 - 1969
Matilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen, was a philanthropist of the New England Conservatory of Music and a supporter of the Masterworks Chorus. She donated the land for the establishment of the Morris County Free Library. She donated her Whippany Farm Estate of 127 acres so that future generations would be able to enjoy and appreciate the beauty that surrounded what she considered the 'golden age.'
Elizabeth Donnell Kay
Nurse, Businesswomen, Charity Worker, Environmentalist
New Jersey Florida
In 1924, Elizabeth Donnell Kay, started a home-based herb mail-order business. By 1932, she was teaching about the importance of preserving native plants and educating farmers about the harmful practice of setting fire to their fields each year after harvest. In 1960, Elizabeth and her husband created the Pine Jog Environmental Sciences Center, which today under the auspices of Florida Atlantic University, 16,000 children visit annually.
Owner/Operator Neptune Farm
This former Wall Street businesswoman looks right at home on her 126-acre organic farm. Torrey "uses grass-fed animals to bring her soil back to life". This advocate of sustainable farming serves as a mentor for new agronomists; establishing strong partnerships with local restaurants, providing her own produce and meats, and tips to prepare them to their maximum culinary potential.
Elizabeth Coleman White
Elizabeth Coleman White grew up on her father's cranberry farm and developed an interest in commercial agriculture. She pioneered the cultivation of the blueberry. Collaborating with Fredrick Coville, she developed develop a commercial blueberry based on the sweetest and hardiest of the wild varieties of blueberries growing in the NJ Pine Barrens. She also helped start the NJ Cooperative Blueberry Association.
Esther Yanai was a giant in New Jersey's conservation movement. A founding member of Save the Environment of Moorestown (STEM), which preserves and protects the community's open space, she was the driving force behind the creation a natural resources inventory (NRI) for the Township and an open space inventory for Moorestown's first Open Space Committee and later the Moorestown Environmental Advisory Committee.