The Luther Goldman Birding Trail is dedicated to the memory of Luther Chase Goldman (1909 - 2005), a noted Prince Georges County Resident, field biologist, pioneer national wildlife refuge manager, renowned wildlife photographer, and nature tour leader who became the first official photographer of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service during a career that spanned nearly four decades.
Luther lived in nearby College Park, frequently hiked these trails, and loved to watch birds here. He knew, as you can, too, that each day, each time of day, each season, each habitat could reveal something new, something unique. It is his observations of birds seen on his hikes that make up the bulk of bird sightings recorded here. A group of friends and admirers initiated the creation of a birding trail at this site as a fitting tribute to his life and work. This 2.2-mile trail is a designated portion of the designated Anacostia Tributary Trails System of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
About Luther Goldman
Luther Goldman learned about wildlife and conservation at his father's side when, in his teens, he accompanied Edward A. Goldman, an eminent field naturalist, on research trips. Luther earned his degree in biological science from the University of Maryland at College Park, where he was a first-string lineman on the football team. From College, he plunged into field work in Mexico, Baja California and Arizona. In 1939, he married his college sweetheart Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Mulligan, his partner of sixty-three years, and became the first manager of Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge in CA. He helped research, develop and/or manage many more wildlife refuges in his career: Imperial and Havaso in AZ, Bitter Lake and Bosque del Apache in NM, and Laguna Atascosa and Santa Anna in TX. As a wildlife refuge manager and biologist eager to document the results of field work being done in these remote areas, Luther created a darkroom and began submitting his own photos with his reports, thus beginning a life-long love of wildlife photography that accompanied his intense interest in ornithology. He captured many of the first-ever photos of rare birds on their nests and in their habitats. A hit at the Washington headquarters, his photos began appearing on the covers of government reports. After his twenty-year career managing national wildlife refuges, Luther became the official photographer and curator of the photography collection of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
After retiring in 1974, Luther led nature tours abroad, as well as field trips in the Mid-Atlantic region for local birdwatchers. Audiences were always eager to join his bird walks and attend his slide talks about trips taken, near and far away, talks he gave even at age 94. Luther was a role model and mentor to many, especially in the birding community. His was a life well lived. He was a gentleman well loved.