A Retirement Tribute to Tim Burris

May 14, 2022

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Tim Burris, Preserve Manager at our Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary and co-conspirator for this weblog, will be retiring in June. Tim has been the manager at Mariton for 30 years; he and I started our careers at Natural Lands at almost the same time. Tim leaves big shoes to fill.

If you read half of the entries in this weblog you know of the pride that Tim takes in maintaining Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary, the preserve in Bucks and Northampton Counties named after Mary and Tony Guerrero and located on a forested bluff overlooking the Delaware River. He is a thoughtful student of the weather, wildlife, and forest ecology and has assisted Natural Lands Stewardship Staff with issues in wildlife management. He is modest and quiet and known to think deeply on both the details and big picture of conservation. Below, a photo from when he helped train me on monitoring a conservation easement and GPS use for finding its boundary.

TIm Burris monitoring a conservation easement in the woods

Photo: Daniel Barringer

I’ve always appreciated discussions with Tim. Below, he is making a point at a Stewardship meeting in 2000.  Given the attendee’s serious expressions, and knowing what issue for a long time dominated staff meeting discussions, it could be talk about visitors’ dogs off leash. Or it could have been about deer management and forest regeneration, or trends in bird populations.

A staff meeting of land managers seated around a conference table

Photo: Daniel Barringer

During his time at Mariton the preserve was transformed by the addition of a beautiful Nature Center through the renovation of an old barn. Tim inspired many volunteers who help maintain the preserve and assist with programs and nature photography.

Tim Burris and Preston Wilson doing a tree planting at Stroud Preserve

Photo: Daniel Barringer

I think Tim is happiest in the woods and he has had a positive impact on the woods at Mariton and in the overall professionalism of Natural Lands staff. Above, Tim (on the left) with Preston Wilson (Manager at Paunacussing and Diabase Preserves) doing a tree planting in the floodplain at Stroud Preserve.

I suspect Tim will soon be found more frequently in his canoe on the waters of Pennsylvania, as he and Maureen move and begin a new chapter. We wish them all the best in their new endeavors. If you see Tim on the trails at Mariton over the next few weeks, be sure to offer your appreciation to him for his dedicated service.