Generous gifts from longtime League members are vital for our work to protect redwood forests. Charles Clarke, 82, of Sykesville, Maryland, is an example of our extraordinary members. He visited the San Francisco area in 1969 with Ella, his wife, who went to see redwoods while he attended a work-related convention. Her excitement about the great trees inspired the couple to donate to the League a year later. Clarke’s gifts grew over the decades to include a bequest, support of our Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative, and dedication of the Ella S. Clarke Memorial Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in 2009—the first year Charles saw a redwood!
Clarke said he hadn’t made the trip earlier because he hadn’t gotten around to it. What did he think of the ancient giants in Jed Smith? “Well, the trees are majestic,” Clarke said. “I was overwhelmed by their size; the pictures don’t do it.” Clarke took advantage of the IRA rollover to make a gift towards this grove.