Mission Statement

  1. To provide an inviolate sanctuary for animals and plants indigenous to NJ Pinelands habitat;
  2. To provide a “living classroom” for the public to study nature; and
  3. To promote humane and environmental education.


Veronica Van Hof
Veronica has a varied background including degrees and work experience in journalism and wildlife biology. She was hired as the Refuge Director in November 2015. She is a preservationist and long-time vegan.

Council of Trustees

William R. Bey, Treasurer
Bill first visited the Refuge in 1967. He has been a supporter ever since, actively getting involved in the work necessary to keep it running. He is a vegan and retired veganic farmer. He still grows most of his family's food.
Nedim C. Buyukmihci, President and Secretary
Ned is the son of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and Cavit Buyukmihci, founders of Unexpected Wildlife Refuge. He spent his high school years living at the Refuge and has been supporting the Refuge ever since. He is a vegan and a retired veterinarian.
Darwin Sawyer, Vice President
Darwin is a nephew of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci. He has been actively involved with the Refuge since the early 1960s. He is a vegan and retired.

Janet Romano Schubert
Janet is a long-time animal activist and supporter of the Refuge. She is a vegan, musician and teacher.

Legal Counsel

William M. Gilson, Esq.