• Kate Munning

Our Warrior Sandy


Sandy Urgo, our VP of Land Preservation and Stewardship, recently marked 20 years with TLCNJ. Her indomitable spirit and depth of experience has been a key part of our organization’s success in that time.


Our staff honored Sandy at a recent staff meeting and Aaron Cela, who works on Sandy’s team, offered a wonderful tribute that he’s allowed us to share here.


“I have known Sandy Urgo for almost 12 years, and let me tell you, I have never met anyone quite like her before in my life. We missed her at Rally this year in New Orleans; 9 years ago the Rally was also in NOLA, where the great nature writer Barry Lopez addressed the crowd. He said: 'You are not in my mind people tidying up the damaged world or the simple doers of good deeds. You’re warriors. You’re facing up to what most of us want to avoid. You’re looking after the fate of people you’ve never met. I hear often about the courage of soldiers, but I want to say, meaning them no disrespect, that the kind of courage you display, so much less heralded and publicly hardly noticed, is exemplary.'


"Sandy is our warrior. She has faced and conquered more things in her life than the average person will in two lifetimes. She has been a mayor, a lawyer (disclaimer she has not passed the bar), a mother, a wife, a confidant, a boss, a colleague, and most importantly a champion of the land. SHE IS A WARRIOR, and she will never rest until every rolling farm, every pristine forest, every stream, wetland, and lake in New Jersey is protected and safe from those who would destroy them. She has scared every polluter, developer, and everyone who would stand in her way; but she hasn’t scared us! She has inspired us, she has taught us to be the very best versions of ourselves. She has taught us that idealism and realism can exist at the same time, and that both are necessary to make effective change in this world; and believe me she has! Thousands of acres saved, and so many more to come.


"So congratulations Sandy, our warrior, on twenty years of fighting for all of us, but most importantly fighting for the land."


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