On October 20 at Deschutes Land Trust’s annual Membership Open House, the Land Trust announced and celebrated its Volunteer of the Year, Paul Edgerton of Sisters. For the past seven years, Paul has dedicated his time as a tour leader, helping others learn about the ecological processes that shape our world. His tours delight and fascinate attendees and he frequently lends a hand for Land Trust events, special projects, and as a consultant for stewardship of our properties.
As a retired biologist, Paul Edgerton is a naturalist in every sense of the word. “Paul’s life-long fascination with plants, animals and their interactions, coupled with a long career as a research ecologist, has given him a breadth of knowledge of the natural world that is hard to match,” said Brad Chalfant the Land Trust’s executive director.
But what really sets Paul apart is his gift for telling stories. If you are on a tour with Paul, he may show you how to identify a Douglas fir (soft, spirally arranged needles, pointed buds, and cones with three pronged bracts) but also fascinate you with the natural history of the tree. He will regale you with the tale of David Douglas’ epic 1824 expedition to the Pacific Northwest where he first discovered and named the Douglas fir, and the intriguing story of Douglas’ mysterious death at the age of 35, involving pit traps, bulls and an escaped convict. His stories give natural history a unique twist that makes them stick in the hearts and minds of his listeners.
In his own words, Paul says: “I enjoy helping people develop and appreciation of plants, animals, and the human activities and ecological processes that shape their habitats. “ Paul is an outstanding scientist, a wealth of knowledge on plants, animals and natural history, and general joy to be around. The Deschutes Land Trust is hugely indebted to Paul for helping to make our outreach efforts such a success. For all of these reasons, the Land Trust is honored to name Paul Edgerton our Volunteer of the Year. Thanks, Paul!