When Jane Guiltinan relocated from Seattle to Port Townsend in 2017, she had just retired from a 33-year career as naturopathic physician — but some of her most important work was about to begin.
Jane knew she wanted to spend much of her retirement supporting environmental conservation, and after more than three decades working indoors, she was determined to spend maximal time outside, in nature. Happily, in 2018, these desires led Jane to Jefferson Land Trust, and she’s been one of our most dedicated volunteers ever since.
Jane Guiltinan in the Quimper Wildlife Corridor.
“I wanted to do something to help heal Mother Nature and the planet, and volunteering with the Land Trust is perfect,” Jane says. “The mission and the vision of Jefferson Land Trust are so aligned with my vision of environmental stewardship.”
Among the many tasks Jane has cheerfully undertaken as a Land Trust volunteer are pulling noxious weeds like Scotch broom and English holly, clearing litter from nature preserves, planting and thinning and trees for overall forest health, and building and maintaining trails at Valley View Forest, where she also donates her time monitoring amphibian wildlife. No matter the weather, Jane is happy to be outdoors and doesn’t mind getting dirty.
“In addition to being an excellent human being, she’s always energetic and good-natured,” says Carrie Clendaniel, the Land Trust’s Preserve Manager, who has worked with Jane frequently over the years. “She’s an extremely hard worker and she doesn’t shy away from any task.”
When asked why land conservation is important to her, Jane responds, “It would be easier to list all the ways it isn’t important to me. In my view, climate change is the most important crisis we have in this world — not in this community, not in this country, but in the entire world — and land conservation is one piece of what’s going to have to be a very aggressive, complex, and expensive solution if we’re actually going to solve the problem.”
The link between climate change and local conservation efforts is core to the Land Trust’s mission, and we couldn’t do this important work without the help of dedicated, inspired citizens like Jane. “She’s done a ton of volunteer work, and I’m really, really thankful to have her on board,” says Carrie.
In her free time, Jane can be found exploring the beaches, woodlands, and scenic areas of Jefferson County. One of her favorite local spots is Illahee Preserve, which borders Chimacum Creek. This creek is the site of a decades-long community-wide restoration effort to restore threatened native salmon populations, an effort instrumental in the founding of Jefferson Land Trust in 1989.
Salmon in Chimacum Creek at Illahee Preserve.
When you visit Illahee, Jane urges, make sure to explore beyond the gazebo and take the trail to the creek. “I have a kinship with salmon,” she says. “I like to walk down to Chimacum Creek at Illahee Preserve when the salmon are returning from the ocean in the fall. Sitting there, you’ll suddenly hear a little splash and see the salmon coming up the stream. It’s pretty incredible.”
In addition to her dedicated work with the Land Trust, Jane also volunteers as a Citizen Scientist at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center and donates her time weekly to the Port Townsend Food Bank. She says, “It’s so great to have the time and energy to do it. Port Townsend is such a special community. In a small community, you really feel like you can make a positive impact.”
Jane, you’ve definitely made a positive impact through your tireless commitment to Jefferson Land Trust’s work to care for and preserve local habitats and mitigate climate change through community-driven conservation. We can’t thank you enough!
If you’re interested in volunteering at the Land Trust, fill out the form on our volunteer page.