Deschutes Land Trust honors volunteers of year

BEND, Ore. - The Deschutes Land Trust presented two Bend residents with Volunteers of the Year Awards at its annual Open House on October 29. Derek Loeb and Kelly Madden were honored for their dedication to conserving land in Central Oregon.

Derek Loeb is a retired geophysicist who first got involved with the Land Trust in 2012. An avid hiker, Derek has donated many hours to the Land Trust's Walk and Hike program as a volunteer hike shepherd and leader. He also helps with a variety Land Trust restoration projects—from pulling weeds to removing fences.

"Derek is such a great volunteer. His knowledge of local geology and, more importantly, his skill in sharing that knowledge with the public have made his geology hikes popular. On top of that, Derek has been more than willing to roll up his sleeves and dive into our habitat restoration projects," said Brad Chalfant, the Land Trust's executive director. Derek was presented with one of two 2013 Volunteer of the Year awards.

Kelly Madden is a retired schoolteacher who also came to the Land Trust in 2012 with energy and enthusiasm. Kelly jumped into the Land Trust's Walk and Hike program as a shepherd and leader. She also donated many hours researching historical photos and helping investigate the restoration of Camp Polk Meadow Preserve's historic Hindman barn.

Kelly became a certified Oregon State University Master Naturalist, dedicating countless hours to learning the ecology of our region. Those hours paid off as Kelly has begun to lead her own hikes. Said one attendee, "Kelly was so enthusiastic about everything. I learned names of many new flowers, enjoyed beautiful scenery, and just had a great experience!" Kelly was presented with one of two 2013 Volunteer of the Year awards.  

Volunteers donated more than 4,550 hours to the Deschutes Land Trust during the past year. In the process, they've 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 Derek and Kelly for their outstanding contributions!
The Deschutes Land Trust conserves land for wildlife, scenic views, and local communities. As Central Oregon's only nationally accredited and locally-based land trust, the Deschutes Land Trust has protected more than 8,200 acres in since 1995. For more information on Deschutes Land Trust, contact us at (541) 330-0017 or visit

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