New Jersey Conservation Foundation
 
New Jersey Conservation Foundation Menu
NJCF Homepage Contact Us Donate Events Search NJCF
New Jersey Land Conservation Organization
Donate to New Jersey Conservation Foundation
State We're In New Jersey Conservation Foundation Blog
Sandy Millspaugh: Conservation Trailblazer
10/6/2017

The year was 2002, and New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s board of trustees faced a tough decision.

The owner of a nearly 10,000-acre cranberry farm in the Pine Barrens was getting out of the business. He wanted to know if NJ Conservation would buy his property for $12.5 million and turn it into a nature preserve.

The opportunity was incredible. The land was surrounded on almost all sides by public forest and parkland, and this 10,000 acres was referred to as both the “hole in the doughnut” and “the heart of the Pine Barrens.” But the board was divided over the daunting prospect of raising so much money, which could potentially detract from land preservation efforts elsewhere in the state.

That’s when Gordon “Sandy” Millspaugh spoke up and reminded his fellow trustees of the organization’s core mission to preserve land and natural resources throughout the Garden State. “If we don’t do it, what are we here for?” he asked.

That clinched the vote, and the rest is history.

The property is now known as the Franklin Parker Preserve - named for the first chairman of the state Pinelands Commission - and it’s a true ecological treasure in the heart of the Pine Barrens. It is home to many rare plants and animals, and researchers from around the world have conducted scientific studies there. It has 27 miles of trails, including a section of the popular Batona Trail, and two wildlife observation platforms from which bald eagles can often be spotted.

 Without Sandy Millspaugh’s voice of reason and responsibility, this amazing public preserve might not exist today.

Sandy passed away on Sept. 12 at the age of 83. He was a champion of land conservation, the environment, and humanity. He was known for his intelligence, integrity, kindness and generosity.

“Sandy Millspaugh was one of those special people who not only cared deeply about his community, but was willing to dedicate all his free time to making the world around him a better place,” reflected former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman. “He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.”

Sandy was a tax and estate attorney and devoted a substantial amount of his time to nonprofit and charitable organizations. He was a trustee at the Victoria Foundation, a Newark-based philanthropic organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in need, protecting water resources and preserving open space.


“Sandy Millspaugh served as a beloved trustee of Victoria Foundation for over 40 years,” said Irene Cooper-Basch, Executive Officer at Victoria Foundation. “With his heart of gold, Sandy kept us focused on doing everything humanly possible to alleviate the suffering of children and families living in poverty in Newark. As chair of the Environment Committee, Sandy cared deeply about saving those lands that held the state's previous drinking water supply. And as chair of the Personnel Committee, he cared as much about the Foundation's employees as he did about our mission. “

He was a board member at New Jersey Conservation Foundation for over 20 years, including two terms as president and several years as honorary trustee. He was instrumental in establishing the Red Oak Society to promote planned giving.

He served for two decades as trustee and counsel to the Upper Raritan Watershed Association (now Raritan Headwaters), where he conducted a feasibility study on protecting land through conservation easements. Easements allow conservation organizations to acquire and extinguish development rights on designated properties, without purchasing the land itself.

“Sandy helped so many of us in the land preservation business,” said Cindy Ehrenclou, executive director of Raritan Headwaters. “He provided guidance to us and was the reason we started accepting conservation easements.”

He was a charter trustee of the New Jersey Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and served for 12 years as a member of the NJ Hazardous Waste Commission. He was also a trustee at the Matheny School in Peapack, which serves children with disabilities.

Even as his health declined, Sandy remained active in causes close to his heart. Last winter, he attended a Bernardsville town council meeting to speak out in favor of a proposed law to protect underground aquifers.

“I strongly believe you can’t take water for granted,” Sandy told the council.

After Sandy’s passing, accolades poured in.

Ken Klipstein, current NJ Conservation president, described him as a “kind, generous and an inspiring leader.”  Chris Daggett, president of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, remembered him as “a great person – down-to-earth, thoughtful, smart, insightful, kind, and a good guy to have on your side.” Tom Wells, director of government relations for The Nature Conservancy, described him as “a kind-spirited human being ... in the same mold as Frank Parker, Ed Babbott, and so many other past NJ Conservation trustees.”

“Sandy was an outstanding president of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation board,” said David Moore, former Executive Director. “Sandy’s calm insight and acumen was a major asset to the organization and he was always ready to lend a helping hand to the board and employees. We got to be friends over the half century of our mutual involvement with NJ conservation and I will miss him, and our talk of old times.”

Sandy is already deeply missed, but those of us lucky enough to know him will never forget him. May Sandy’s life inspire others to become kind hearted and generous conservation trailblazers, too!

To learn about preserving New Jersey’s land and natural resources, visit the New Jersey Conservation website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at info@njconservation.org.

 

POSTS

Save the bugs!

Check out New Jersey's fall bird migration

A little bit of respect...for native plants!

Explore New Jersey's wildflower meadows

All aboard floating classrooms

Catch the Perseids meteor shower!

Check out the 'fun' in fungi

Too hot to think? Studies shows heat affects your brain

Love NJ's outdoors? Take action now!

New Jersey's official reptile, the bog turtle

Sea level rise and New Jersey: Not perfect together

These New Jersey plants have an appetite for insects

Explore the Pine Barrens through paddles, hikes and tours

Like to jog? 'Plog' instead and keep NJ clean

Love Jersey fruit? Thank our native pollinators!

Good news for globally rare swamp pink lilies

Say cheese! Remote cameras aid wildlife research

Begone, single-use plastic bags!

3,000 birds and counting for 'bluebird grandfather'

The Pine Barrens gets some help from its friends

A clean energy future for New Jersey

Cowtown and rare grassland birds, perfect together

Fight light pollution during International Dark Sky Week

New film tells story of how Petty's Island was saved

Ten years of nipping invasive species in the bud

Welcome spring in a county park

Go for a walk and feel better!

Grab a friend and go outside

Recycle your way to zero waste!

Last call for winter wildlife watching on Jersey coast

Without its 'understory' layer, the forest will collapse

From whale songs to poetry, a remarkable journey

A cleaner, greener New Jersey

Let's keep New Jersey the Garden State, not the Pipeline State

New Jersey's winter hikes

'Trees don't vote' but Byrne saved Pine Barrens anyway

Governor-elect Murphy should set new course on the environment

Protect soils to keep the garden in our state

Clean, plentiful water is New Jersey's lifeblood

A breath of fresh air for New Jersey?

Keep Liberty State Park free and open

A green agenda for Governor-elect Murphy

Life, liberty ... and a clean environment

New Jersey's aging water infrastructure

The land before time: NJ's Kittatinny Ridge & Valley

While bats hibernate, scientists hope for survival

Natural Resource Damages fund new parks and preserves

Save menhaden, a humble but mighty fish

Ballot question approval would lock in environmental funds

Sandy Millspaugh: Conservation Trailblazer

ARCHIVE

September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011

CLICK FOR RECENT POSTS


New Jersey Conservation Foundation on FacebookNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on TwitterNew Jersey Conservation Foundation on FlickrNew Jersey Conservation Foundation YouTube ChannelShare      
New Jersey Conservation Foundation           Bamboo Brook, 170 Longview Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931           908-234-1225           info@njconservation.org
home  | nj statewide eventscontact us  |  sitemap  |  privacy policy  |  DONATE