Dr. Kenneth Walker is conserving nature for future generations—and getting income for life. © Susan Borne/The Nature Conservancy

Stories in Arkansas

Profile of Giving: Dr. Kenneth Walker

Dr. Kenneth Walker pays it forward for nature—and gets paid back.

With his gifts to The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas, Dr. Kenneth Walker of Russellville is conserving nature for future generations. He's also getting income for life.

Dr. Walker knows all people need healthy land and water. "I'm concerned about the balance of population and the habitat needed to support it. That's why I support the Conservancy," he said. He has funded four Charitable Gift Annuities, or CGAs, which pay him a fixed annual income. At the end of his lifetime, what's left will fund the work he cares so deeply about.

"The CGA is a great supplement to my retirement because it's guaranteed income," he said. CGAs can also provide significant tax benefits.

Growing up in Goshen, Indiana, during the Great Depression, Dr. Walker learned about living within one's means. He became a lifelong learner and educator, earning four post-graduate degrees. During 30 years in the U.S. Air Force, he taught history and geography at the Air Force Academy and was the school's liaison for Arkansas. He also taught for 40 years at Arkansas Tech University. He even wrote a history of the college.

Dr. Walker and his wife Marylou raised two daughters on a small farm just outside Russellville. There he nourished his love of trees—he planted more than 1,500 with a grant from the U.S. Forest Service. He often sits in their shade on a stone bench he erected in Marylou's memory.

Thanks to his frugal nature and lifetime of service, Dr. Walker is able to support conservation and other causes close to his heart. We are thankful for his generous spirit—and his love of trees.