Bob Long’s legacy at Brandon Wilde will live on through his love for the outdoors.
Long, a resident of the Evans retirement community who died Monday, was instrumental in Brandon Wilde receiving a plaque that named the 106-acre scenic property a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
“He was just vibrant,” said Brandon Wilde marketing coordinator Lynn Gilmore, “He was very passionate about life in general, but gardening, the outside and nature were definitely really big on there.”
A sign noting the designation has been posted near Brandon Wilde’s main entrance off Owens Road.
Long spearheaded the movement with help from neighbors and his wife, Milly.
The Longs moved to a cabin in the development eight years ago.
“When we moved to Brandon Wilde, one of the things that we admired was the campus,” Long said on Nov. 3.
Long and other residents made a sweep of the property, identifying several types of animals, including deer, raccoons, foxes, beavers, possums and rabbits in addition to varieties of waterfowl and birds.
“We got together and started keeping a logbook of what all we had seen over the time,” said Long, who was retired from the Air Force.
Red-tailed hawks, English sparrows, pileated woodpeckers and great horned owls were among the 25 varieties of birds the group catalogued.
Long, a longtime member of the national conservation organization, was also part of a committee at Brandon Wilde that beautifies and identifies plant life along walking paths on the property.
Residents of the retirement community, he said, take pride in keeping the grounds in pristine shape.
To become a certified wildlife habitat, whether it be an apartment balcony or large farm, a location must provide food, water, shelter and a place for wildlife to raise its young, according to the National Wildlife Federation Web site.