‘em. Scooter. You pick up on their fascination with the natural world, and their savvy about how people connect with nature. Jim and Bea are helping lead tours at INLC’s Deep Creek Preserve. They have the patience of a birdwatcher with a spotting scope and a relaxed air that encourages people to participate. Their banter is fun too. They’ll joust over what bird they are looking at, and Bea will say “Jim is sometimes wrong, but never in doubt.”
After taking early retirement from the chemical industry, Jim and Bea went to work in a field closer to their hearts, conservation. They both went to work for The Nature Conservancy, and helped manage properties along the Devils River in West Texas.
Because of their past experience leading birding and nature tours, part of their job was interpretation for the many potential donors who came to Dolan Falls, the core preserve. Their jobs also included involvement in various scientific projects and surveys. Jim and Bea coordinated volunteer events, plus the normal stewardship that goes into taking care of a preserve. Bea and Jim worked with local, state and federal agencies on various types of projects including setting up conservation easements as the Devils River Project grew from 13,000 acres protected to 150,000.
After leaving The Nature Conservancy in 2005, Jim and Bea discovered the Pacific Northwest. They worked and/or volunteered seasonally on the Washington Coast as nature interpreters and park rangers for DNR in the San Juan Islands, at Cape Disappointment’s Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, and at Haystack Rock in Oregon. A few springs ago they were lucky enough to work for the Smithsonian Institute banding migrating birds on the Texas coast.
About a year ago, Jim and Bea decided to make Spokane their home. Last year, Jim and Bea learned about INLC while on a butterfly count with Brenda McCracken, an INLC board member. Since the INLC’s work seemed to align with their values and interests, they wanted to help out in some small way.
Their volunteer efforts may be small to them, but they are huge to INLC. We are so lucky to have them help us connect people with nature.