Nancy Chase lives in Falcon Cove and Portland. She first joined our board in May of 2006 and returned in June 2014. With a degree in landscape architecture from Washington State University, Nancy spent her career working in the Portland Metro area for the preservation of parks and natural areas and currently assists the city of Portland with open space acquisition. Nancy also volunteers on preservation and restoration projects across the nation. She serves on our board because “I love the Oregon coast, and I want to help preserve its scenic beauty and wildlife values.”
Allan Olson brings a broad spectrum of experiences to the LNCT board. Working as an educator,administrator and assistant superintendent followed by a 20-year tenure as executive director of an education-based non-profit, Allan has inspired collaborations and partnerships leading to development of quality programs. Since moving to the Nehalem Bay Area in 2009 Allan has pursued his interest in Asian philosophy, art and crafts. His fundamental interest, however, remains preserving and conserving all natural resources, which has led to his decision to actively participate in the preservation and conservation of local land.
The Lower Nehalem Community Trust has recently appointed Jim Pendergrass to the Board of Directors. Jim and his wife Christine returned to the area two years ago after a forty year absence, and now split their time between Manzanita and their farm in Cheshire. Jim is a retired banker, and has been active in Land Trust and Watershed Council work around the state for over twenty years. He and Chris are also active scuba divers and do research work for the Oregon Coast Aquarium, USFS, and ODFW, focusing on invasive species and surveys of the new Marine Sanctuaries along the coast.
“The preservation of special lands and restoration of watershed environments is part of what makes Oregon such a great place to live. LNCT is a unique organization, and Alder Creek Farm a particular jewel. I’m excited to be able to help build that vision.”
Active for three years as a volunteer in the community garden at Alder Creek Farm, this native Oregonian joined the board in August 2016. She retired to the coast with her husband Mark in 2014 after being a part-time North Coast resident for 20 years. Roxann was raised in a camping and white water rafting family, so working on protecting the natural world is second nature. “As a kid,” she explains, “I can remember we camped every weekend, weather permitting, including Thanksgiving.” A graduate of Portland State University, Roxann had a long career in the internal auditing industry, including as Global Director of Internal Audit for Nike, Inc. She is keenly interested in strategy, operations, and systems. Roxann is especially drawn to the community aspects of the Trust’s mission and vision: “The garden at Alder Creek Farm has been a terrific place to meet new people and also to make a difference in the lives of others. We donate harvest to the food bank, in fact about one ton of a food a year, as well as teaching and learning about growing food on the coast. With everything we do, we are strengthening the foundations of our community.”
We are pleased to announce that one of the Trust’s founders, Doug Firstbrook, has rejoined the Board of Directors. Doug brings to the Board the rich history and dedication of the founders and his unmatched personal commitment to conservation within this beautiful valley.
Doug was a co-founder of the Nehalem Bay Little League, co-founder and chair (97-98) for Lower Nehalem Watershed Council, and co-founder and Board member of Lower Nehalem Community Trust. He also served on the Manzanita Planning Commission. Today he continues to work on the Nehalem Teaching Trail, and co-chairs the Biennial Nehalem Estuary Cleanup.
Doug’s knowledge and energy on behalf of the Trust has never faltered. He sees the Trust as an opportunity to engage community in the creative process of protecting local natural systems through collective involvement and time on the land.
Carl Vandervoort has been a regular-visitor/part-time-resident of Manzanita since the late 1970s, and now lives full time on the edge of Nehalem Bay south of Wheeler. His wife, painter Deborah DeWit, and he bought an historic property in 2009, which “needed some work,” and have been there full-time since 2011. Carl studied cinema in London and Portland and made his living as a free-lance documentary filmmaker for nearly 40 years, including directing “Wetlands,” a feature-length film about art and the environment. He now considers himself “semi-retired.” He spends much of his time living and working at home at Huckleberry Farm Studios, and practicing pottery, which he thinks of as a life-long study. A member of the Alder Creek Farm Community Garden since 2015, Carl is committed to the idea that community centered, volunteer driven organizations like the LNCT can make a real difference toward bringing human development into balance with the natural world which sustains us.
Mary Ruhl, a relative newcomer to the Nehalem bay area, moved to Manzanita from Portland in 2014. Soon after her move here, Mary began volunteering at Alder Creek Farm Community Garden. As one of the originators of the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) Learning Garden in Portland, Mary developed OFB’s garden plan, then volunteered with that program for 9 years. No surprise that she soon felt right at home participating in the Trust activities at the Farm. She is also an OSU Extension Service Master Gardener, having tested and applied knowledge gained in the certification program to her one-acre urban gardens over twenty years. During her career as a graphic artist, Mary designed educational materials and interpretive signage for the Port of Portland, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and for the Berry Botanic Garden, where she also served on the Board of Directors. Through years of developing educational communications projects for these organizations, Mary gained knowledge of native flora and fauna, as well as the importance of preserving natural habitats. Service on the LNCT board of directors combines Mary’s life-long engagement in nature and environmental education with an opportunity to learn more about and contribute to the vitality of her recently adopted community.