An end of year message from Executive Director Glenn Lamb
Last week, I took a run from my Southeast Portland home through the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Area, where I heard the beautiful sounds of wood ducks whistling and tree frogs croaking. Yes, it was chilly and wet but I felt so alive! I absolutely love the nature of the northwest. I am thrilled to wake up every day knowing that I get to dedicate my hours to focusing on how to save the amazing northwest places and creatures, and to figure out how people from all backgrounds can benefit from our glorious nature.
Each and every day, at Columbia Land Trust this is what we do. We restore, monitor, and study. We plant seeds, we nurture. We go outside in extreme hot and cold and dry and wet. We get up early and we stay late. We bring along thousands of friends with us, some of whom have now passed on. We invest deeply and persist against all odds and yet we let go of things even when letting go seems devastating or impossible to imagine. We pay attention to what the world is telling us even if that truth is not what we wanted.
We are tackling personal and organizational change to address systemic embedded racism, sexism, bias and inequity across difference, some of the biggest challenges human society has ever faced. We do this because land, including land that we own, has been part of those inequities in the past and in the present. We are doing all of this because we want a future where nature is sustained in good health, and where people’s lives and nature are intertwined. We believe deeply in our vision for the world. For many of us this feels like a near-sacred commitment to how we spend our days, weeks and years.
In the last weeks, we have received hundreds of new and renewed grants and gifts, we have acquired key properties, we completed our annual monitoring of the 45,000 acres that we have conserved, we welcomed dozens of people to see threatened sand hill cranes and spawning chum salmon, we prepared our 2020 work plan and budgets, and we received two awards for our work!
Which brings me to the capstone of my gratitude. On Friday afternoon I visited with a long-time land trust supporter. I had shared our work and he gave me feedback, framed around one concept: Intellectual Integrity. He said that what he has observed over the years is that Columbia Land Trust brings strong intellectual integrity to everything that we do. He feels that this shines through and in his opinion this is why we have garnered the successes listed above, and so many more. He urged me and us to continue to consider intellectual integrity as we make every decision going forward.
I am so pleased, proud and happy – even joyful – to be spending so much of my life with you all, achieving these things, traveling on this journey.