Conservancy founder Barbara Yeaman with her daughter Suzanne and son Bill at "Ed's Bench" at the Van Scott Nature Reserve.

October 13, 2022

Remembering Ed Wesely

“Ed’s Bench,” located along the Butterfly Trail.

On Saturday, October 8, 2022, the staff and Board of Directors of the Conservancy were honored to dedicate a bench at the Van Scott Nature Reserve in memory of our dear friend and founding member Ed Wesely. It was a very special day to remember Ed and his many contributions to protecting nature, wildlife conservation, and education, and to welcome Ed’s partner and Conservancy founder Barbara Yeaman, her daughter Suzanne, and son Bill to the Reserve. If you did not get the chance to join us, you can visit Ed’s Bench along the Butterfly Trail, surrounded by meadows of milkweed and native wildflowers, in recognition of Ed’s devotion to monarch butterfly conservation.

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a life well livedEd Wesely was a dear friend and supporter of the Conservancy since its inception, founder of the Butterfly Barn Nature Center at his and Barbara Yeaman’s home alongside the Delaware River, and a lifelong champion of the natural world. He passed away on May 26, 2021.

Ed’s many projects in support of protecting nature, wildlife conservation and education, and the preservation of local history included rescuing, raising, and releasing hundreds of monarch butterflies every year. People of all ages enjoyed learning from Ed at his popular monarch butterfly programs, where he shared an enduring message of respect and care for the natural world. The milkweed and native wildflowers in the meadows at the Van Scott Nature Reserve provide perfect habitat for monarch butterflies, and the bench is installed next to an educational stop along the Conservancy’s Interpretive Trail for visitors to learn about meadow habitat and pollinators.

To read a beautiful profile of Ed’s life and work written by his partner and Conservancy founder Barbara Yeaman, please visit:,44980.

Photo, top by David B. Soete; bench photo by Nicole DeCarolis.

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