News & Events

Celebrating Our Conservation Champions!

Author: Jefferson Land Trust | 10/15/20

Conservation Hero Icon ImageEvery year we’re amazed at the amount of volunteer time our community donates to help us protect and care for the land. We wondered how this volunteerism would be affected by the pandemic, with our office closed to the public and volunteer work parties canceled during the spring and limited this summer and fall.

However, we shouldn’t have worried because countless conservation champions have stepped up and pitched in this year to help us in amazing and interesting ways from a safe social distance.

Our hats are off to them all, including:

  • Twenty-eight dedicated Preserve Stewards who are keeping a close eye on conditions at their assigned preserves, noting concerns, reporting back to staff, and taking action when they can. Together, they logged more than 116 hours of monitoring so far this year, helping to ensure the long-term health of these protected spaces.
  • Sixteen local naturalists who racked up more than 1,100 hours helping us offer Nature in Your Neighborhood to more than 700 people throughout May and June. The dedicated Heather Harding, who alone racked up nearly 400 of those hours as the program’s co-creator and programming director. Her vision and expertise were crucial to the program’s success.
  • Nature in Your Neighborhood Logo Graphic

    Sketch by artist Erika Wurm that we used as the logo for Nature in Your Neighborhood.

    The amazing Owen Fairbank who volunteers daily with the Land Trust, stewarding projects, leading committees, monitoring properties, and pitching in wherever we need help. We couldn’t do it without him!

  • Our fantastic weekly volunteers like Joanne Tyler, Lindsay Mayo, Kate Storey, and others who make donor thank you calls and help with any projects that come up.
  • Local artist Erika Wurm who volunteered her time and talent creating the sketch we used as the logo for our Nature in Your Neighborhood program.
  • The Chimacum Ridge Community Forest Teams, who helped shaped the future of a community forest in Chimacum. Since March, 13 volunteer Project Team members met regularly to imagine the possibilities for an 853-acre property called Chimacum Ridge that the Land Trust hopes to purchase and transform into a community forest. In August, an additional 21 Stakeholder Advisory Group members joined to share their input on the vision, mission, and values for the future community forest. We couldn’t be more grateful to these busy community leaders, who carved out time to meet during this pandemic. Together they contributed more than 262 hours.
  • Kerry Tremain who spent more than 30 hours creating a video to help us kick off Nature in Your Neighborhood. The video, “Spring Migration on the Olympic Peninsula,” features Kerry’s photos, music by Larry London, and interesting bird information from volunteer naturalists and expert birders Ken Wilson and Dave Rugh.
  • Robert Tognoli in the Duckabush River

    Volunteer Preserve Steward and LEO member Robert Tognoli spent a almost an hour wading in the Duckabush River to get us photos for our latest Report to Our Community. When asked if it was cold, he said the temperature was great. Photo by James Holb.

    Members of the League of Extraordinary Observers (LEO) who capture beautiful imagery of nature, our preserves, and our future community forest on Chimacum Ridge. LEO is a group of nature enthusiasts who are passionate about recording the natural history of Jefferson County through photography and stories to help build awareness and inspire action. LEO members include Stephen Cunliffe, Wendy Feltham, Chris Jones, Tim Lawson, Robert Tognoli, and Kerry Tremain and many others. Their images feature prominently on our website, eNews, publications, and in the $3 million community forest grant application we just submitted!

  • The Grant Dream Team composed of Joanne Tyler, Anne Seeley, and Rachel Imper who research foundation prospects and help to draft grant proposals. These amazing volunteers have made it possible for the Land Trust to submit twice as many proposals to date in 2020 as we did all of last year. Together, they’ve contributed hundreds of hours benefiting the Land Trust and our mission.
  • The Donor Relations Committee, Carleen Bruins, Nan Evans, Sarah Fairbank, Robin Fitch, Barry Mitzman, and Joanne Tyler who dreamed up a magical online TogetherFest that celebrated our community and raised needed funds to support our upcoming projects.
  • Owen Fairbank delivers gala goodies

    Owen Fairbank delivers gala goodies to car of TogetherFest guests.

    Our Gala Goodies Distribution Team who helped hand out 135 Gala Goodies boxes full of delicious chocolates, fresh flowers, and other party supplies for TogetherFest this year. It was no small task so we’re grateful to the amazing volunteers who stepped in to help make things run smoothly. Sarah and Owen Fairbank, Ben Collum, Jen Rojas, and Kate Storey were pure masked fun as they ushered the goodies safely to our guests at two pickup locations.

In addition, countless others have volunteered their time and talent on the board, on committees, on task forces, with special events, with easement monitoring, and during socially distant volunteer stewardship work parties. Our incredible community volunteers touch every single part of the Land Trust’s work contributing an impressive number of hours every year, helping us accomplish our mission.

Thank you all for sharing your time and talents with us. You are all heroes in our eyes!