You might not find much information online about Cape May’s Charlotte Van Leer Todd. But the work she did for decades helped preserve Cape May Harbor, start the Nature Center of Cape May and protect the city’s important environmental assets, said center Director Gretchen Whitman.
“She is the example of how one individual can make a difference in many, many people’s lives and in the environment,” said Whitman. “Cape May wouldn’t be the same without her.”
Todd received the Growing Great Women in the Garden State award for her volunteer work from the New Jersey Society of Women Environmental Professionals on June 21 at a dinner in Princeton. Even some of the women in attendance that night hadn’t heard of her, Whitman said, because Todd has been focused on results, not recognition.
In the early 1990s, a developer wanted to build a 350-boat marina and 58 homes on a tract in Cape May Harbor. Along with local volunteers such as Frances Wilsey and the late Libbie Davison Toner, Todd fought for a smaller development and to preserve 18 acres of waterfront, Whitman said.
“She figured out ways to work with the city and state to find Green Acres funding,” Whitman said. She also helped start the Nature Center, located in the preserved area, which has provided environmental education to thousands of children and adults since 1992.
Todd, a former schoolteacher, has been chair of the city’s Environmental Commission for 28 years and has helped the city develop a master land-use plan, and enact land protection and energy conservation measures, Whitman said.
Scholarship for volunteerism
Henry Moore, 17, of Galloway Township, was one of 200 students nationwide to win a $1,000 scholarship for his volunteerism from The Kohl’s Department Stores’ Kohl’s Cares program, the department store chain recently announced.
He was picked from more than 35,000 nominees nationwide, and is now in the running for one of 10 national scholarships for $10,000. Moore helped start Carols for a Cause, which brings together local musicians to create and sell an annual holiday CD and donate the profits. So far the organization has donated more than $8,000 to area nonprofits, Kohl’s said.
The Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation recently re-appointed certified public accountant Diane T. McKoy, of Mays Landing, as Atlantic Cape Foundation Board president for a second term, a spokesperson said.
Everyone Has a Story appears Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.
Contact Michelle Brunetti Post: