The WHY of conservation

Oftentimes I run into people who do not know what a land trust is – maybe it’s a distant family member or a high school acquaintance that I’ve run into over the holidays. Back in 2009 when I first started at Greenbelt Land Trust I remember fumbling my way through the description, watching eyes glaze over as I explained what a conservation easement was, or how we work with private landowners on voluntary conservation. I quickly realized that this wasn’t the way in for people to connect to our work. As I struggled to frame a definition of the work of conservation, I realized that Read More

Dark and Stormy

After nearly two months of rain, winds and darkness, I may be ready for spring and summer.  My tennis shoes seem to be perpetually soggy from jumping over numerous mud puddles and my sense of humor slightly dented because I have been walking hunched over for two months in the downpours.  After last year’s drought and heat, I was ready for some long bouts of Oregon winter rain, but maybe it is time for a little different mix of weather.  Perhaps we should have a few weeks of cold sunny days. I walked up the Mulkey Creek trail to Fitton Green on Martin Luther King Read More

The Next Generation

Emily, Kevin, Ryan, Tyler, Abby, Elizabeth, William … these are the names of Bill Beck’s grandchildren. They are names that I hear often as Bill relays graduation and swim-camp stories after Greenbelt Finance Committee Meetings, or when he stops by the office to drop off a load of tomatoes from his voluminous garden. To Bill, a board member of Greenbelt Land Trust from 2004 to 2010, his grandchildren are not only a source of pride, but they are a beacon of hope for the next generation – they hold the opportunity to pass along an appreciation for the natural world around us. Bill’s grandchildren who Read More

Worms and Cheese

Winter arrives, shadows (where there are any) lengthen then yield to evening; it’s inside time. Put a log in the stove, pour a glass of wine, and settle down to a good read, like Carlo Ginzburg’s The Cheese and the Worms (which is, honestly, about neither cheese nor worms but a good read nonetheless.) And if you can find some, give yourself a few slices of Beaufort, probably the best cheese in the world. Bar none. Beaufort comes from the Savoie, a tiny region in SE France and one of the reasons why Beaufort is far better than, say, Cheez-Whiz (a cheese-food product we all Read More

A Commitment to Place

In the last two weeks I have had the pleasure of hearing Charles Goodrich read from his work twice. If you do not know the writing of local literary hero Charles Goodrich … well, I will let that be forgiven for the moment. Homework item #1: Go pick up ‘Insects of South Corvallis’ (my favorite) to dip into on one of these stormy afternoons. (You’re welcome). I’ve listened to Charles read many times before, but it was something in his delivery this time around that caused my eyes to well up and my throat to constrict. You know that feeling – when something someone says just Read More