Land & Legacy Society Spotlights


Being a Land & Legacy Society member exemplifies the spirit of land stewardship and transformation of people that I have always believed in.” George feels that “Giving is a work in progress, it’s something that builds over time.George St. Clair

I helped start Ohio’s Western Reserve Land Conservancy, so Sandra and I bring a unique understanding and appreciation for the importance of BSLT’s mission,” Bruce Merchant explains. “I am grateful to BSLT for preserving land throughout our county in an ‘unpaved’ state. That’s what land trusts are for. It starts with the land – but it goes beyond just acquiring property. Long-term stewardship is critical to the health of our region’s spectacular landscapes. Big Sur Land Trust has played a critical role in preserving many of the open spaces that make living in, or visiting this area, so desirable. — Bruce Merchant

BSLT’s youth programming is essential. It’s really important to get kids out on the land – especially those who have little or no familiarity with natural open spaces. Experiencing the care and wonder of nature is something that has to be modeled and learned so that local youth can become future conservationists.” In addition to being long-time volunteers, Bruce and Sandra are also members of BSLT’s Land & Legacy Society. “Including BSLT in our estate planning was a practical choice,” Sandra explains. “We are dedicated supporters, but we may not always be able to make regular, annual donations. So, we decided to select a few beneficiaries as legacy recipients. It’s a great option to consider! — Sandra Reel

As time passes, I have occasionally reflected on what my legacy might mean. While my dad was around my age, he told me that people seldom regret acts of kindness or generosity. They really only regret the times when they did less than they could. Borrowing one of Woody Allen’s sentiments – the words I’d love to hear most at my memorial service are: ‘Look, he’s moving!’. But that seems unlikely. So instead, I will hope to be remembered as someone who appreciated and truly understood the natural world and tried to make a difference. Given the opportunity to join the Land & Legacy Society, I recognized that BSLT’s work reflects some of the values I hold most dear: the preservation of our amazing natural world, and the opportunity for young people to experience the wonder and joy that come with time spent out on the land. I concluded that a bequest to the Land Trust is one of the best ways I could honor these values… — Bob Montgomery

I appreciate all the effort the Land Trust and their partners make to set aside and protect the magnificent places that make Monterey County such a wonderful place to live. — Don Newmark