Why I Give: One Supporter's Story

Each contributor to The Nature Conservancy has a story about why they give back to nature—to leave a legacy, to support our mission, to help protect our world.

For Portland resident Rochelle Savit, it’s about protecting open spaces and ensuring that the sparseness of rural communities is preserved to balance our urban lives. She also feels a sense of legacy because her parents and grandparents instilled a responsibility to make it possible for others to experience the joy and solace of nature.

Read her story below and then share your own story to inspire others as you have inspired us!

Why do you give to The Nature Conservancy?

Rochelle Savit:

I always felt it was a good idea to have private money counter-balancing public efforts to manage our wilderness areas, particularly when they were zoned “mixed use.” Around Tillamook in the 1970s we used to talk about the “Tillamook burn” and I was always very conscious of the clear-cut forests in the coastal areas. I thought it was smart to contribute to The Nature Conservancy so the organization could buy land and protect it.

What is your favorite place in nature?

Rochelle Savit:

I’ve traveled and worked all over the world, but right now my favorite place is my rustic cabin in the Methow Valley in the Cascade Loop of northern Washington. I go up in summer and winter. It feels like I have my own forest up there where I can do my own little bit to conserve the environment and help the animals.

Tell us your first memory or experience in nature?

Rochelle Savit:

My grandparents built a cottage near a tiny town in Michigan where I spent my childhood summers hiking the dirt roads, fishing with worms bought at Ed's Bait Shop (where a sign said "Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday"), and rowing our wooden rowboat (named "Beautiful") in the small channel between the swimming hole and the lake. When we were allowed to row to the lake, my siblings and I passed under a low bridge, where we feared spiders would fall on our heads. These experiences, along with trips to the West, gave me a love of nature and feelings of closeness and security in natural rhythms and changes.

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