Füsun A.



Montréal, CANADA
January 12
Freelance Writer - jack of all genres;master of none.
warm and genuine
I divorced my full time career of teaching after 25 years, because meanwhile I fell in love with freelance writing. Ever since, I decided to legitimize my ten-year fling which started in the new millennium. Author of: "WILL OF MY OWN - A Memoir" Available at all major book outlets. For a preview please visit: http://www.dictionmatters.com/


MAY 17, 2012 5:07PM

Rebel with a conscience - Man with a vision

Rate: 71 Flag



The first part of this piece is titled after Governor Russ Peterson’s autobiographical book and written as a tribute to him for his legacy to Delawareans. On my recent family reunion in Wilmington, my sisters and I took Annecim on an outing along the River Front. During my last visit to that lovely place, I was smitten by the bird houses built by a local artist and had blogged about it.

Russ Peterson was born in Wisconsin on October 3, 1916. After earning his Ph.D. in chemistry, he moved to Delaware in 1942, where he pursued a twenty-six year career as a research scientist and corporate executive for DuPont before entering politics.

Gov. Peterson’s signature achievement during his single term as governor (1969 to 1973) was the creation of Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act of 1971, a model environmental statute that earned Peterson worldwide acclaim. The act was designed to protect Delaware’s fragile coastal areas by banning new heavy industrial development along the coastline.

His steadfast championship of the cause, in the face of withering opposition from industrial interests and heavy political damage, led him on a journey of environmental advocacy that continued to the end of his life, and gained him international recognition as an environmentalist, scientist, activist and public servant. He served as chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (1973-1976) and president of the National Audubon Society (1979-1985), in which capacity he advised Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter on environmental issues.

The extensive marsh restoration process that began in late 1990's enabled beneficial vegetation to flourish in the marsh, providing a habitat for wetland wildlife. Since then, efforts have included shoreline stabilization, re-excavating water channels to their historic patterns, trail system development, and installation of wildlife nesting structures. Finally, in October, 2009, The DuPont Education Center was opened.

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I've had the privilege of meeting and being given a personal tour of his works by sculptor Charles C. Parks in the late 70's, when he and his wife were my sister's neighbours, living in the Rockford Park area, Wilmington. Parks is best known for his realistic conveyance of common, everyday people – particularly Black Americans, and their underlying dignity, as well as children who convey a sense of playfulness and sadness through social circumstances. The above plaque, as well as the larger than life sculpture of Russell Peterson, was dedicated by the renowned sculptor and speaks for itself.


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Governor Peterson also served as member of Delaware First Media’s Advisory Board since DFM’s founding in 2009.

In 2010 he contributed a commentary to DFM News on another cause he championed for decades: reform of the criminal justice system.

Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge is located at the south of the Shipyard Shops along Wilmington's Riverfront. It is not only a unique environmental experience to visitors like me, but the residents and schoolchildren of Wilmington have year-round access to wildlife education and recreation.

Today, the refuge is one of the few urban wildlife areas in the country.




A view from the wildlife refuge






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The copper Owl 



 Wild mushrooms






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Shelters for geese and migratory birds 



Kalmar Nyckel The Tall Ship of Delaware 



Former Delaware Governor and visionary environmentalist
Russell Peterson died at age 94, on February 22, 2011.


Füsun Atalay ~ Copyright © Will of my Own - 2012


Words and photos are intellectual property of F. Atalay

Location: Wilmington, DE.

Sources: Delaware Public Archives, Encyclopedia Britannica, Vikipedia

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I've been out of touch with what's going on Open Salon. I hope my post will not be out of line. Greetings from Wilmington, DE., still. :o)
Absolutely beautiful. I am always in awe of your work. Easy to read and the photography is fantastic. I wish I could see through eyes like yours.
How could anything like this post be "out of line???" Thanks for the info and beautiful pics.
Is van Gogh channeling through you? Beautiful - Duke
His desire to reform the criminal justice system makes him too cool.
I feel as if I've gone a beautiful trip, Fusun. Thank you.
Wish I could hang out with you and your sisters and the geese in that shelter.
Wow. What a wonderful legacy. He went from working for DuPont to being recognized by fellow environmentalists. Astounding.
What Deborah said: Helluva legacy, and it's too bad there aren't more men and women like him. Photos are terrific.
Always a welcome touch, Fusun! The things you get to learn about on OS seemingly know no bounds.

loved those park photos.
What vision and wisdom Mr. Peterson had! As usual, you made me aware of things I didn't know before, especially the gorgeous sculptures of Charles Parks. And your photos are downright spectacular!

Such a beautiful piece honoring an exceptional man. I always learn and find inspiration in your writing, Füsun.
i dig russ in a big way.
yah, greetings back atcha.
we are ALWAYS HERE, we osers.
ya never out of line..


Parks is best known for his realistic conveyance of common, everyday people – particularly Black Americans, and their underlying dignity, as well as children who convey a sense of playfulness and sadness through social circumstances.

hm. sounds like a guy who in the turbuelent 60's woulda
got his head shot off.

my paternal grandfather worked for dupont in the early 20th century.

wildlife exposure & recreation is the key to raising a good kid.
I don't think I'd even heard of him Fusun. He sounds like a fine exception to many who serve as office holders.
A nice piece of environmental and landscape history.
Beautiful pictures and a look at a Delaware that I didn't know. Governor Peterson made quite an impact.
ha. Delaware..almost as tiny as new jersey..

oh go about your sacred rituals, you odd balls.

realistic conveyance of common, everyday people –

still odd here in CT...very strange stuff...ay arg!
Wonderful pictures! Nice to learn about this person. The world needs more parks...
Great post, Fusun! Lovely. R
Enjoyed this celebration of someone who stood for real value and public service, not only for his time ... but for all time. Good job. Delaware is glowing. Thanks for sharing.
Not only are you masterful with words, this piece shows your true talent as a photographer. Thanks for this interesting bit of history.
This is someone I was not aware of, so thanks for the history lesson. It seems that people doing good things for the public good are sadly a shrinking portion of the population.
Beautiful pics Fusun. As far as I'm concerned, a person who cares about the environment fully deserves all the accolades they can get.
As I sign off for this occasion, I thank you all,who have read, rated, and commented. Yes,we do need more people,especially those in power, who think of the future for the people and our world. I learn something new myself every time I visit Wilmington (or anywhere else, for that matter).
Cheers, till next time.
He was a man after my own heart. What a great tribute to him and his work!
Sounds like an exceptional man with an unexpected legacy. You don't expect a Dupont funcitonary and a state governor to leave this kind of lovely environmental legacy. [r]
Sounds like an exceptional man with an unexpected legacy. You don't expect a Dupont funcitonary and a state governor to leave this kind of lovely environmental legacy. [r]
A great article and beautiful photos! Fusun, I was very near Wilmington earlier in the month. The area was so beautiful. The next time I am there I will try to visit the Wildlife Refuge.
Great Post. I was there many, many years ago and loved it. Hope you're having a great time with Mom!
For a moment I thought I knew this story and then I realized that I was thinking of Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996), naturalist, author, ornithologist, teacher, and artist. Both Russ and Roger were the sons of immigrants from Sweden. Roger served as one of the sources of inspiration for the environmental movement of the 20th century. Russ actually acted to protect the Delaware shoreline from industrialists.
This should make anyone proud to be a Peterson or of Swedish descent. ;
Beautiful! We need more like him...
Thanks for this inspiring post and lovely photography, Fusun! I never saw anything like those round, stone migratory bird shelters...how beautiful!
We've been before and now, again, are in your debt: this is linguistically and visually stunning.

We've been before and now, again, are in your debt: this is linguistically and visually stunning.

Lovely photos and story, Fusun. R
Thank you for showing me a part of Delaware I had never seen. It is so beautiful. We used to drive past all this beauty on the way to Rehoboth Beach when I was a girl. Also your writing was just superb--as elegant as the photos you shared.
I am rating now to find you easier when I get home from work and sit down and enjoy reading this. The pictures are absolutely beautiful.
Nice to read of a good person I had not known of. Thank you.
I love to read about people who are making a difference. Thank you for this post and awesome pictures./r
What a great man--someone we could benefit to have around today! As usual, great pictures.
Sorry I'm late to the party, but we could use some visionary principled politicians like him today. The photos were amazing!
Thank you for honoring someone who very much deserves it - and for the lovely pictures, too. It's always great to see you posting here, and I hope you're enjoying yourself in the real world!
My, what a lovely spot! Thanks for this refreshing visit to a place I had never heard of. I enjoyed your tribute to its creator and defender very much. Lovely article, Fusie.
And I thought Oregon was beautiful. What a wonderful tribute and gorgeous pictures. Makes me want to visit there.
makes me proud to have 1/8 swedish in my background. beautiful photos and an informative post which i learned a lot from .
You have a knack for getting the most out of everywhere you set your foot. Love your pictures and your words.
Beautiful and relevant post, Fusun. You are always spot on!
I loved this piece. Shock? No.... Of course i loved it! I love your work, period.

This was informative, interesting and inspiring, wrapped up in a bundle of gorgeous images. THANK you for this! RR
Wasn't familiar with this man, but he sounds like a real visionary. Lord knows they are few and far between. When the Feds did Liberty Gateway Park on the Jersey side on Ny harbor, they put in an 18 hole golf course for rich folks. Real visionary, huh? R
I love the history and art you share, and great perspective you always bring to a topic. Fascinating. We need more visionary environmentalists these days. I'm so worried about fracking! R
Thank you for all your comments some of which are as instructive as this post. It seems that not many of us had heard of Russell W. Peterson, which is often the case with modest humanitarian, philantrophist, naturalist and visionary people like him. They work quietly and leave their legacy for posterity's benefit.

I'm glad I was able to find and highlight him in the middle of this urban wildlife refuge.
Fuson, out of line? Never!!! Thank you so much for this interesting post. I must visit the wildlife refuge. I love the shelters for the birds. He sounds like an amazing person!
Lovely post as always. I would love to meet that copper owl in person. Sounds like something right up my alley. Thanks for sharing and caring as always. Rated with a Jali smile of course. :-)
My apologies for being so late here, Fusun. As always, dear friend, this is both educational and inspirational in words and images.

I love that round shelter for geese and other migratory birds!

I hope all is well, Fusun. Sending much love and good wishes.
Late here because my internet connection has been down for a week. This is a quality offering from you again, Füsun, which is what I have come to expect from you. You have spoiled me in that way.
Dear Kate, Steve, no apologies are needed for being late. This is not a time sensitive piece and even if it were, your visit and words mean more to me than your punctuality. Thank you very much for your comments, Joanne and Jali.
Your images are stunning and I always learn something when visiting your posts, thank you.
Another perfectly constructed post FusunA. Well done. This makes me want to visit Delaware! I can't say I'd ever thought that before reading this piece.
How strange. I was just looking for apartments in Lewes, DE. I can't stand Wisconsin winters any longer. I always enjoyed Winterthur Gardens in Delaware. Would love to visit Cape Henlopen. It's such a small state but with a lot going for it. Thanks for sharing this piece with us.
Beautiful photos! Happy to see them and learn about Delaware!
What a peaceful place and a great man who did it all. An excellent legacy.
Great essay Fusun! Beautiful photos and important information about natural preservation. I was fascinated with the bird shelter structure and the reclining trees. Wow, interesting!
He was my kind of rebel. What a great legacy he left to his people.
We could sure use a governor like that in Texas! Thanks for remembering a visionary, complete with binoculars in the statue.
There are heroes and inspirational people everywhere -- in every community. I like hearing about them.
Semplicemente bello. Excellent legacy, perfect presentation.