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Dede was Briar Bush's founding director. She began as sole environmental educator in 1979 and moved on to lead Briar Bush every day for 31 years motivated by a passionate love of nature. Her life's mission was to instill that love into every child and adult she could, and she did this with great success. When Dede retired to Saint Simons Island in 2010, an entire community mourned losing this force of nature.
But Dede did not forget about her friends in Pennsylvania. She visited often, and everyone she came in contact with was awed by her courage and fortitude, knowing that she was struggling with cancer. She never let her illness beat her down, and people were always faced with the same joyful, upbeat person they had always known. She fought the disease for eleven years before finally losing her battle on April 23.
Her friend and colleague Monica Embery wrote these words in celebration of Dede's winning the ANCA Nature Center Leadership Award in 2015: "To me, Dede Long is the embodiment of life and nature. She has lived what she learned and practiced what she preached. She has embraced life and environmental education to the fullest and I don't know how she could possibly have given back any more, professionally or personally. She is truly a remarkable person who has enriched the lives of all who have met her through her love of life and nature...I cannot think of anyone more deserving."
There will be a memorial service for Dede on June 25 at 11am at the Abington Art Center. There will also be a reception at Briar Bush at 3pm. All are welcome.
Dede's family has asked that donations in memory of Dede be sent to:
Briar Bush Nature Center
1212 Edge Hill Road
Abington, PA 19001
or you may click on the donation button below.
On your donation please note "in memory of Dede".
Find more information about our family programs, our trips for adults, our stimulating discussions about hot environmental topics and more!
Trails are open every day, dawn to dusk.
Please stay on trails. Pets frighten wildlife-please no pets.
Collecting plants and animals disturbs ecosystems-please do not collect.
Special thanks to
Of Dresher for their regular donations of bird seed and suet
sponsoring programs and pond signage
Thanks to The Willow Foundation, The Montgomery County Foundation,
Quaker Chemical Foundation and the York Children's Foundation
for supporting education programs for special audiences.