For years, whenever the Rhino Times contacted anyone about a wildlife conservation issue, the person on the phone usually said something along these lines: “You know who you need to talk to? Eddie Bridges. He’s the expert on all of this.”
The Guilford County commissioners haven’t forgotten the massive contribution that Eddie Bridges, who passed away earlier this year, made to conservation in Guilford County and in North Carolina.
At the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Thursday, Aug. 5 meeting, Commissioner Justin Conrad is scheduled to offer a resolution honoring the “Life and Accomplishments” of the multi-faceted and well-respected Bridges.
The Greensboro resident died in May at the age of 87, with the vast majority of those 87 years spent attempting to preserve nature in the state for future generations.
Bridges, who was born on June 5, 1933 in Morganton, NC, also made contributions to athletics and ended up in the NC Sports Hall of Fame. He played football and ran track at Elon College and was the first person in Elon school history to run the 100-yard dash under 10 seconds – 9.8 seconds to be exact.
But Bridge’s obituary earlier this year captured the real love of Eddie’s adult life – wildlife conservation: “He was appointed to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in 1977, where he served two, six-year terms. During that time he proposed and helped develop the North Carolina Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Licenses and the North Carolina Wildlife Endowment Fund (which was named the Eddie Bridges Fund by the North Carolina General Assembly). He also proposed the North Carolina Waterfowl Stamp and the North Carolina Tax Check Off program.”
In fact, he created the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation.
Bridges received the Budweiser Conservationist of the Year Award in 2004, the Field & Stream Conservationist of the Year Award in 2012 and the Governor’s Award from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation in 1993.