by Maggie Heineman
I like to lead trail walks for two reasons. It gives new residents an opportunity to become familiar with some convoluted sections of the trails that they might not otherwise visit. And, just as important to me, I get to get to know new residents like Kay Smith. Kay is an environmental activist who moved to Medford Leas in December, 2015 and knows much more about botany than I do.
Four of us walked together on this warm August morning. We visited the shady Cathedral Trail, walking between the two long rows of evergreens and then visited the Sweetgum Stand,
an interesting example of succession which I described in a Medford Leas Life
article several years ago.That’s Kay on the left posing on the Cathedral Trail with Eileen Danielenko and Fred Pond. She’s modest and the only reason I know of her accomplishments is because Medford Leas Life carries bios on new residents, and I looked her up. Excerpted from the March, 2016 issue of Medford Leas Life:“Kay is a founder of a group called Save the Environment of Moorestown,
or STEM. STEM is a very successful citizens’ advocacy group that offers educational programs and opportunities for open-space stewardship projects. … This led to the establishment of “Sustainable Moorestown,”
an organization whose mission is to “stimulate people to prevent degradation of the environment at all levels, citizen, commercial, industrial and governmental,” says Kay. Shortly after they met, Kay and [a friend] set out to create a natural resources inventory for Moorestown, analyzing the land to determine whether it was right for development (including roads) or should be preserved. After 15 years, in 1990, the Moorestown Environmental Advisory Committee
was created to provide environmental input on important issues.