The Land Trust has an amazing group of volunteers! Photo: Land Trust.

Land Trust recognizes outstanding volunteers

Oct 26, 2018 by
The Land Trust presented our 2018 Volunteers of the Year Awards at our annual Open House. Learn more about our winners!

Questions? Contact our team!

Do you have questions, kudos, or other feedback? Let us know:

The Deschutes Land Trust presented three Central Oregonians with Volunteer Awards at its annual Open House on October 25th. Jay Mather, Steve Ponder, and Jan Rising were honored as Volunteers of the Year.
This award is given annually to Land Trust volunteers who have provided outstanding service in the last year.

Jay Mather has been a Land Trust volunteer since 2007. A
retired professional photographer, Jay donates his time taking stunning photos that help tell the story of the Land Trust’s work. For more than 10 years, Jay has been joining us rain or shine or snow to capture the events that mark the day or the decade. From massive stream restoration projects to delicate releases of monarch butterflies, we are so grateful that he has been there, camera in hand, so we can share our work with others. Thank you Jay, for capturing the magic of—and work that goes into—our protected lands!

Steve Ponder has been a Land Trust volunteer since 2016. If you hike the trails of any of our Community Preserves, you may have had the pleasure of being greeted by Steve. Steve helped pioneer our Trail Ambassador program in 2017 and continues to devote many hours to being on the trail, meeting visitors, and sharing the Land Trust’s work with others. His regular trail reports help us understand use at our Preserves, and his conversations with visitors help connect the community to our protected lands. Thank you Steve, for being such a friendly face of the Land Trust!


Jan Rising has been a Land Trust volunteer since 2010. An avid birder, Jan teaches and inspires others to appreciate Central Oregon through the avian world. She leads bird walks for the Land Trust and has contributed a great deal to our bird survey program by conducting regular bird surveys and training new volunteers. When we need someone to fill in for a tour, teach a class at the public library, or even take the staff out birding, Jan is there to help! Jan, thank you for being such a dedicated
ambassador of all things bird to our community!

Volunteers donated more than 5,200 hours to the Deschutes Land Trust during the past year. In the process, they’ve improved wildlife habitat, sunk roots in the community and made a commitment to helping others experience the best of Central Oregon. The Land Trust is truly indebted to the community of volunteers who support land conservation in Central Oregon. Congratulations to Jay, Steve, and Jan for their outstanding contributions!

Learn more about how you can volunteer for the Land Trust.