Buchanan deserves to be recognized

Forest Wendell Buchanan might have called Amsterdam home, but his travels around the world and his passion for education allowed him to touch the lives of many who lived in northern Jefferson County and beyond.

Buchanan, who died in 2002 at the age of 96, was an educator — he taught at the old Amsterdam High School and was a principal and guidance counselor at the former Springfield High School. But he was more — he was a naturalist, a biologist, lecturer, violinist, photographer, writer, ornithologist and sportsman. He traveled extensively throughout Africa; South America, including the Amazon; and the Caribbean Islands on safari and educational trips.

He was so well-respected that a nature trail in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was named after him.

The founder of the Forest W. Buchanan Audubon Club, he was inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame and was recognized for his efforts at preserving the Stillfork Swamp Nature Reserve in Carroll County. One of the trails in the University of Mount Union’s Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center in Minerva bears his name.

Buchanan’s contributions were recognized on Aug. 31 when an Ohio historical marker was dedicated at the Amsterdam gazebo.

The plaque stands in tribute to a man who never forgot Amsterdam was his home.

Helping to make the project possible was a committee chaired by Mike Stone that included Virginia Glenn, secretary; Pat Wilkin, treasurer; Tom Stone, senior adviser; and Buchanan’s relatives, Paul Bright, his son-in-law, and Autumn Day, his granddaughter.

Their efforts will help ensure that the accomplishments of Buchanan will be remembered for generations to come.