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Bequest Stories

Rebecca Richman

If you want to protect the lands and waters you care about, but cannot make a gift today, you can still leave a legacy that reflects your individual values by including The Nature Conservancy in your will or estate plan. It is easy to make a charitable bequest. And bequests let you retain control of your assets during your lifetime. They may also provide estate tax savings.

Rebecca Richman wanted to leave a gift that would have a lasting impact on the natural world that she cares so deeply about, so she took the simple steps to include The Nature Conservancy as a beneficiary to her life insurance, savings account and retirement fund. Like Rebecca, when you make a gift through your estate to The Nature Conservancy, and let us know about your gift, you become a member of The Legacy Club—a special group of visionary supporters who have chosen to stand up for the future of the natural world.

 

Art of Conservation

After a serious injury ended her lifelong dream of breeding and riding thoroughbred horses, Rebecca Richman felt lost. She was in her 20s and living in rural Ohio at the time. “For a while afterwards, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life,” she later recalled. But it didn’t take long for Rebecca, who’d grown up amidst the natural splendor of the Rocky Mountains, to gravitate toward conservation work. She landed a position with the Conservancy in 1993, which put her life on a new path. “During that time, I learned about biodiversity preservation, and the more I learned, the more passionate I became about the mission.” It was during her seven years with the Conservancy’s Ohio Program that a synergy between art and conservation began to emerge in her life.

Rebecca had always enjoyed drawing and painting, eventually providing original images for Conservancy publications and donating profits from print sales back to the organization. As she puts it, “One thing led to another and soon I was painting endangered species and their intricate connections to the landscape.” She began to see her art as a way to educate the public about biological diversity and humanity’s interdependence with nature. Describing her time working in conservation, she says, “Over the years at The Nature Conservancy, I was able to gain a clear understanding of the science behind the work, which gave me the foundation to base my paintings upon.” A move to the Adirondacks helped refine her vision. While there, she produced a poignant series of paintings addressing the effects of acid rain on that region’s forests and aquatic systems. These paintings now educate visitors to a local arts center and college visitor center that have them in their permanent collections.

When Rebecca’s ex-husband Steven passed away in 2010, she began to consider what sort of l legacy she could leave the world— along with her inspirational art. “I decided to name the Conservancy as the primary beneficiary of my life insurance policy, savings account and retirement nest egg. Nature has always been my solace, my peace and my inspiration.” And, she adds, “I am so grateful to leave what I can to the Conservancy, to preserve my beloved natural world for all of us and for future generations.”
 


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