Conserve Wildlife Blog

Duke Farms’ Tanya Sulikowski Honored for her Conservation Education

November 21st, 2016

By Mara Cige

Tanya Sulikowski, 2016 Education Award Winner

Tanya Sulikowski, 2016 Education Award Winner

We had the pleasure of interviewing our 2016 Women & Wildlife Education honoree, Tanya Sulikowski, and are pleased to share some excerpts below.

As a Program Manager at Duke Farms, 2016 Women & Wildlife Education Award Winner Tanya Sulikowski works tirelessly to connect New Jersey’s people and wildlife. A champion in environmental education, she hosts hands-on creative projects that include bird banding and monitoring, as well as rain gardens and barrels just to name a few. However, Ms. Sulikowski considers her creation of the Teen Action and Leadership Opportunities for Nature program to be her greatest professional achievement because it inspires urban students to make lifestyle changes that incorporate their newly discovered love of nature. Her reach has extended statewide through her various roles within the Alliance for NJ Environmental Educators, where she currently serves as Vice President.

Join us to honor Tanya and the two other 2016 Women & Wildlife Award Winners on Wednesday, November 30th beginning at 6pm. Purchase events tickets and find more information.

CWF asked Tanya a few questions about what working in wildlife rehabilitation means to her:


What motivates you to get out of bed each morning and go to work?

It’s not much of a struggle to come to Duke Farms to work each day! I am surrounded by talented people who believe in their work, a beautiful landscape and work that I am passionate about – what more could a person want?


What is your favorite thing about your job?

 The “Teen Action and Leadership Opportunities for Nature” Program that we have created here at Duke Farms is what I am most proud of in my professional career. Inspiring young people from Plainfield to connect to the natural world is my greatest achievement. Some of my students now go hiking on their own, try to convince families to make sustainable and healthy changes in their lives and a few are even majoring in environmental studies and natural resource management in college! There’s no better reward for a teacher than to see her students be passionate about what they’ve learned.


What interests you the most about New Jersey’s wildlife?

I’ve done a lot of traveling to spectacular places and one of the most impressive things to me about New Jersey’s wildlife is the diversity. It’s so cool to be able to visit Cape May for massive monarch or bird migrations, to paddle off Sandy Hook with the harbor seals in the winter, to hike up to High Point in hopes of seeing a timber rattlesnake, and listen to the croaking of treefrogs in the Pinelands at night. Our home state has so many awesome nooks and crannies to explore.


Name one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to change the world.

Find something you are passionate about and turn it into a career. Work never gets tiring if you love what you do every single day.


What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working?

 I really enjoy working and I find that my “time off” often overlaps with what I do. For example, I manage the largest organic community garden in the country and I spend a huge amount of time in my own backyard garden – growing our food and creating habitat with native plants. It’s so much fun to translate what I learn in my own life into our educational programs.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Duke Farms’ Coach Barn to honor the contributions that Tanya Sulikowski, Martha Maxwell-Doyle, and Wendy Walsh have made to wildlife in New Jersey.

We are excited to recognize the leadership and inspiration they provide for those working to protect wildlife in New Jersey. Women & Wildlife will also celebrate the timeless and inspiring journeys of wildlife migration in New Jersey and beyond.


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