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Oregon

Leaving a Legacy

“If people come here and have a positive experience … they are likely to leave with more appreciation of, and respect for, the sanctity of nature.”

Jeff Clark
Volunteer steward and Legacy Club member

by Savannah Naffziger

What motivates a long-time volunteer steward to show up for work almost every day of the week — in all kinds of weather? “The beauty of Camassia is just the hook,” said Jeff Clark. He loves it because it’s gorgeous, but also because of its power to re-connect people with nature.

In his seven years volunteering for The Nature Conservancy at Camassia Natural Area, Clark has seen the profound effect this “urban gem” can have.

On a mid-January day, it’s easy to see why. Months before its namesake blooms appear (the camas lilies flower mostly in May), moss-covered rocks glow green in the sun, and the occasional hummingbird navigates the oaks and madrones.

“If people come here and have a positive experience, maybe connecting with plants and creatures they hadn’t before, they are likely to leave with more appreciation of, and respect for, the sanctity of nature,” he said.

Making a lasting impression is important to Clark. It’s why he works so hard to make Camassia accessible to new people. Most recently, he purchased — and personally supervised the installation of — brand new boardwalks to replace aging, slippery ones.

Wanting to make a lasting difference also helps explain why Clark is a member of the Conservancy’s Legacy Club, for those who include the Conservancy in their estate plans.

“Jeff dedicates himself completely to making a difference,” said Wes Milligan, director of planned giving. “He tracks every detail of a project, doing everything to make it a success. He’s making an impact on the land and community in ways we will feel for a long time.”

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