Caring for Lands & Waters: Volunteer Land Stewards

June 7, 2021

By Pat Loomis, Conservancy Volunteer Writer

The Conservation Community (that’s you) has helped Inland Northwest Land Conservancy to conserve over 20,000 acres of the Inland Northwest to protect existing habitat from development. Now it’s time to get to work enhancing those habitats and learning about our lands in real life! One of the ways you can help enhance these protected lands is by becoming a Volunteer Land Steward. Stewards will design and complete restoration projects, educate public land users, and note wildlife, vegetative, and hydrologic trends on the land. 

Meet the Crew Part 1: Ed & Carol Colpitts

Volunteer Land Stewards Ed and Carol Colpitts have lived a life of volunteerism.  They currently serve the Audubon Lake properties in Reardan, 586 acres with eight seasonal lakes.

Ed & Carol, enjoying the outdoors on four wheels

The couple got their start in Eastern Oregon as peach orchardists, spending the winter months volunteering for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NWFW). For seven seasons in Puerto Rico, they helped replant native mahogany and ceiba (also known as kapok) trees to restore native forests.

Ed and Carol spent two seasons on Guam, monitoring “shade houses” by the beach.  Shade houses are used to protect cultivated plants from excessive heat, light, or dryness.  They also create a micro-climate conducive to plant growth.

The Colpitts also volunteered for NFWF in Hawaii and on the Arizona/Mexico border.  They are now retired and still busy volunteering and spending the winter months in Arizona.  Ed, a lifelong woodworker, recently finished a 16 x 8-foot houseboat.  Carol enjoys gardening, growing flowers and vegetables.  They have also taken up e-biking so they can experience even more of the beautiful places they call home.

Ed and Carol strive as volunteers to make the world better for plants, animals and humans. Their investment is, in part, for their two children,  five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren–an investment in the future.