The Winifred M. and George P. Pitkin Foundation Gifts One Million Dollars

From left to right:
Kimberly Armenti, VP of Development & Communications | Joseph Basralian | Alex Ireland, President & CEO | Alexa Fantacone, Director Lorrmier Sanctuary

The Winifred M. and George P. Pitkin Foundation Gifts One Million Dollars
New Jersey Audubon’s gift earmarked for the renovation of Lorrimer Sanctuary


Bernardsville, NJ – June 26, 2023 – New Jersey Audubon is thrilled to announce a gift of $1 million from the Winifred M. and George P. Pitkin Foundation to support a major renovation of New Jersey Audubon’s Lorrimer Sanctuary, including the creation of the new Winifred M. and George P. Pitkin Foundation Educational Center. This anchoring gift for the renovation is among the largest in New Jersey Audubon’s history.

“The Winifred M. and George P. Pitkin Foundation’s gift to New Jersey Audubon cannot be understated in its significance,” says Alex Ireland, NJ Audubon, President and CEO. “We are so grateful to the Trustees of the Pitkin Foundation for this incredible commitment and for partnering with us to deliver the vision of an inspirational environmental education center at the Lorrimer Sanctuary. New Jersey Audubon’s mission centers on connecting all people with nature, and we cannot wait to bring this new facility to the people of Franklin Lakes, Bergen County, and New Jersey at large.”

The total cost of the project is estimated at $3 million. The new educational center at Lorrimer will include new indoor and outdoor education space, and a multi-use space and reception area that will provide capacity for increased programming and community engagement.

“This gift will serve to inspire thousands of young people to appreciate and care for the natural world, states Kimberly Armenti, New Jersey Audubon’s Vice President for Development.  Having served as Board Member of New Jersey Audubon since 2018, Joseph Basralian, a Trustee of the Pitkin Foundation, is deeply committed to its conservation mission. “The Lorrimer Sanctuary is already a wonderful property with boundless potential, the Trustees of the Winifred M. & George P. Pitkin Foundation are pleased to contribute to this project which will create a high-quality facility to serve this portion of New Jersey.”  The Winifred M. & George P. Pitkin Foundation was founded by Dr. Winifred Pitkin, a renowned physician who highly valued education of all types. Since its inception, the Pitkin Foundation has contributed millions to a variety of charitable causes.

Lorrimer Sanctuary has remained relatively unchanged since it was donated to New Jersey Audubon in the 1950’s while the surrounding Franklin Lakes community has blossomed.    Currently, Lorrimer reaches ~5,000 people a year.  The aspiration is to double that number upon completion of the renovation, by serving over 10,000 children and adults from all walks of life in New Jersey. Through this renovation, New Jersey Audubon seeks to make Lorrimer, “The go-to place for environmental education and recreation in Bergen County,” according to Alex Ireland.

About New Jersey Audubon:

New Jersey Audubon (NJA) is a privately supported, not-for-profit, statewide membership organization. Founded in 1897, NJA is one of the oldest independent Audubon organizations.  The mission of NJA is to connect all people with nature and steward the nature of today for all people of tomorrow.   The organization is currently conducting the public phase of its SOAR Campaign, the largest comprehensive fundraising and awareness campaign in its 125-year history.  To date, these efforts have raised $12.84 million in gifts and promises toward a $13 million goal. For more information on New Jersey Audubon, the SOAR Campaign, and Lorrimer Sanctuary, visit

Contact: Chris Neff, [email protected], 908-396-6660