Norm Winn was a beloved long-time board member who was an incredible advocate for conservation, the outdoors and the Preserve. He passed away at the age of 82 in 2021. He was known for being one of the biggest defenders of wildlife and protecting Washington State’s wilderness from deforestation and led efforts to protect parks and wildlife reserves. The Seattle Times had a great piece on his life and legacy in January 2022.
But, what we at the Foundation most remember of him is his dedication to the work that we do to leave land better than we found it, to create awareness of the value in conserving wild spaces and leading by example to create the change that we want to see.
True to his beliefs and his life’s work, Norm left a bequest to the Foundation to be used for a new Community Grants opportunity. The Foundation’s grants have traditionally focused on groups and programs that further our mission to protect, restore and preserve the Salish Sea region. However, his generous gift will be, at his direction, focused on projects and programs that are outside the Salish Sea area, but align with our mission to preserve, inspire and educate. An important part of our responsibilities as a 501(c)3 non-profit is to honor the intentions of bequests we receive.
Each year, we receive grant requests from groups outside the Salish Sea area and we’d on occasion partially fund those grant requests when the need and program was deemed extraordinary by the Foundation’s board.
With Norm’s generous gift, we will be able to fulfill his wish for the Foundation to be able to expand grant opportunities more robustly in the future. While we are currently in the process of working through how to implement this new grant program, we are incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to expand our reach to support more worthy groups and their work.
In the meantime, our Community Grants application can be found on our website and we’ll update everyone when Norm’s grant program is ready for applications.
We are all incredibly grateful for his work, not just for the Keta Legacy Foundation, also known as the Mountaineers Foundation, but all he did to enact policies that protect wild places, grow awareness of the need for conservation and create a legacy that we all benefit from today and will continue to benefit from for generations to come.
– Jeff Wirtz, President