Remembering Tom - Columbia Land Trust
The Land Trust's Executive Director Glenn Lamb reflects on the life of Tom Moeller and the impact he made on our work.


Tom Moeller liked gardening, fly-fishing, barbershop quartets, and garage sales every Friday. He loved nature and contributed to Columbia Land Trust every year, although he claimed, “What I give is a pittance compared to everything you do.”

Tom was all business. Calls were short and to the point. And yet in his last years, he reached out to me in new ways. He’d call and say, “I think it’s porch time, Glenn. When can you get out here?” The first time I arrived for porch time, I was surprised when, in his usual direct way, he said, “Well, there’s the chair. I’ve left you a few cookies and some milk. I’ll be inside,” as he closed the door behind him. Eventually, Tom would come out and explain that he figured I must get awfully busy and that everyone can use some time just sitting still.

Frank Groundwater called last July to tell me that Tom was gone. Tom had been fading badly and was very uncomfortable. I knew Frank would call when Tom died, because I’d told Tom that I’d scatter his ashes at his favorite lake. What I didn’t expect was that Tom had left virtually his entire estate to Columbia Land Trust.

During his lifetime, Tom gave the Land Trust gifts that truly helped sustain our annual operations, just like each of you, our members. Through his will, Tom left a gift that has the power to transform the Land Trust, to significantly increase our impact. We’re already doing more, thanks to him.

Barn Swallow, Colony Farm Regional Park, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia

Barn swallow by Alan D. Wilson

Tom loved the nature of the Northwest. He knew it from wading out in the water, with fly rod in hand. He also knew it from watching the swallows swerve across the meadow just off his porch and from seeing the eagles perch atop nearby Douglas-firs.

Each of us has the potential to conserve the nature that we love so dearly, through building a backyard habitat, volunteering, bestowing annual gifts, and, perhaps most powerfully, granting an estate gift. If you’d like to explore how to make such a gift, please give me a call (360-696-0131).

In the meantime, I urge you to take Tom’s advice and make sure you get some regular porch time.