A stalwart volunteer with a heart of gold, Don will be remembered for his compassionate demeanor and respect for all living things. His contributions to the conservation community were endless. In addition to being the liaison for Wildwood Programs, a cherished community partner, Don was also one of PLAN’s original Monday Stewards – a team of volunteers that still convene on Mondays to steward PLAN’s trails with care.
From his cheery disposition to deep-rooted wisdom, we are honored to have had shared the trails with Don and will sorely miss his wide smile and bounty of hugs.
“What a great privilege it was to join Don Washburn with the volunteer stewards on many weekly visits to the great trails and preserves of Saratoga PLAN. Walking and talking with Don was a special treat. His infectious smile and unfailingly positive attitude inspired us. Don’s love of nature was spiritual and deep. His knowledge was expansive. I remember his delight at visiting one of his special old growth trees in the Hennig preserve. His volunteer leadership contributed much to the essential public benefits of trails and preserves. Don’s modest descriptions of his pathbreaking public policy work with the Turtle Island Trust made me wish our hikes and talks were much longer. He worked to preserve Native American land such as at Ganienkeh, traditional knowledge and a cultural heritage of sustainable respect for nature. Let’s long remember and celebrate one of our conservation heroes. ” – Jim Sevinsky
“I knew Don mostly from Stewardship Committee meetings and I am sorry to have missed working actively on the trails with him. With his generous smile, he brought a clarity of high purpose for the land, and world, that shone through and provided direction for decisions.” -Lorraine Skibo
“Don was such a huge advocate for Wildwood and truly treated all the participants who volunteered for Saratoga Plan with so much respect and dignity. It was wonderful to see their relationships grow throughout the years and we are truly honored to have made friends with him out on the trails. The Wildwood/Saratoga Plan partnership wouldn’t have been such a success without him. The entire Wildwood family sends our deepest condolences.” – Bridget Chiaramonte