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Community honors county’s steadfast conservation hero, Malcolm Crooks


Malcolm Crooks, Bucks County’s revered conservationist extraordinaire who died May 25 at the age of 96, was honored Tuesday by the Solebury Township Board of Supervisors.

“I will not attempt to do justice to all of Malcolm Crooks’ achievements. There are a number of people through time who have made enormous contributions toward making Solebury a special place. It did not occur by accident. It required and still requires much effort. Malcolm Crooks was one of those very extraordinary individuals who has left his mark in Solebury Township and the surrounding area,” said Supervisor Kevin Morrissey.

In attendance were Crooks’ widow, Elaine; son, Lee Crooks and his companion Tina Wise; and Lee’s son, Jesse.

A representative of state Rep. Wendi Thomas also attended and presented the family with a certificate recognizing Malcolm’s work.

Malcolm’s “concepts of land preservation, organic approaches to land and farming are very important contributions that influence our current approaches involving these critical aspects of our community.

“John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, said, ‘When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.’ Of course, he meant we need to protect our environment, the place we live. Negatively or positively it will affect us and our successors. Not only did Malcolm Crooks understand that better than anyone I know, but he acted upon it,” Morrissey said.

The township unveiled a new sign for the walking bridge over the Delaware Canal at Canal Park named the Malcolm Crooks Bridge. The sign reads: “In memory of Solebury’s greatest preservation advocate Malcolm Crooks 1923-2019.”

In 2010, Solebury Township dedicated the walking bridge in Crooks’ honor. In September, the township will rededicate this bridge with the new plaque installed on the structure, Morrissey said. The public will be invited to attend.

“All of us are aware of Malcolm’s untiring involvement in countless environmental organizations,” Morrissey said. “I defy anyone to accurately list all of the boards of which Malcolm was a member.

“His involvement with the Honey Hollow Watershed Conservation Area, establishing the Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow and founding member of Solebury Land Preservation Committee are just a few of these.

“I am personally grateful to him for his assistance and direction to me to help me fulfill the role as president and the other founding board members of the Primrose Creek Watershed Association. There are many many many more organizations he touched.”

Morrissey concluded, “Few of us have the ability to make a lasting difference. Malcolm Crooks was one of those rare individuals. I am honored to have known him and will dearly miss him ... his contributions to this community will live on.”

After the presentations, Tina Wise who is black, said, “Malcolm opened his arms to me. He could not have made me feel more welcome in the community.”

“I think it’s wonderful that people are paying attention to his contributions,” Lee Crooks said. “I think he would have smiled (about the night’s tributes).”