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home : current news : current news November 19, 2018

11/6/2018 12:20:00 PM
Land trust recognizes outstanding volunteers

The Deschutes Land Trust presented three Central Oregonians with volunteer awards at its annual open house on October 25. Jay Mather, Steve Ponder, and Jan Rising were honored as Volunteers of the Year.

This award is given annually to Land Trust volunteers who have provided outstanding service in the last year.

Mather has been a Land Trust volunteer since 2007. A retired professional photographer, Jay donates his time taking stunning photos that help tell the story of the Land Trust's work. For more than 10 years, Mather has been out rain, shine, or snow to capture the events that mark the day or the decade. From massive stream restoration projects to delicate releases of monarch butterflies, the Land Trust is grateful that he has been there, camera in hand, so the organization can share its work with others.

Steve Ponder has been a Land Trust volunteer since 2016. If you hike the trails of any of the Deschutes Land Trust Community Preserves, you may have had the pleasure of being greeted by Steve. Ponder helped pioneer the Trail Ambassador program in 2017 and continues to devote many hours to being on the trail, meeting visitors, and sharing the Land Trust's work with others. His regular trail reports help the organization understand use at the preserves, and his conversations with visitors help connect the community to our protected lands.

Jan Rising has been a Land Trust volunteer since 2010. An avid birder, Jan teaches and inspires others to appreciate Central Oregon through the avian world. She leads bird walks for the Land Trust and has contributed a great deal to the bird survey program by conducting regular bird surveys and training new volunteers. When the Land Trust needs someone to fill in for a tour, teach a class at the public library, or even take the staff out birding, Jan is there to help.

"These three outstanding volunteers really exemplify the depth and breadth of the Land Trust volunteer family," said Sarah Mowry, the Land Trust's outreach director. "We are so fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers who donate their time year after year for the projects they love. It is these exceptional people who make it possible for the Land Trust to conserve and protect the best of Central Oregon."

Volunteers donated more than 5,200 hours to the Deschutes Land Trust during the past year. In the process, they've improved wildlife habitat, sunk roots in the community and made a commitment to helping others experience the best of Central Oregon.

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