GPC Legacy Member Highlight: John L. Nichols

John Nichols with his dog Sunny.

“With a simple act, there will be preservation of some portion of the northwest habitat that I love so much.”

Great Peninsula Conservancy is thrilled to celebrate John L. Nichols, the newest member of GPC’s Legacy Society. John, a Key Peninsula resident and GPC forage fish survey volunteer, had previously made GPC a beneficiary of his IRA. When he discovered the ongoing challenge, he made sure to inform us by mailing a legacy pledge. If you have already included GPC in your estate planning but aren’t currently part of the Legacy Society, please let us know! You do not have to disclose the amount or type of gift, and we can recognize your pledge anonymously.

Here, John speaks to his love of nature and why he chose to help preserve habitat for years to come.

John Nichols (center front) attending a GPC volunteer event.

What connects you to Great Peninsula Conservancy’s mission?

As many in our area, I am very concerned about the increase in development and the reduction of natural and rural habitat. We should all feel an obligation to help preserve our beautiful northwest natural environment in its many forms. Based upon the GPC sites that I have visited, I believe this is one important way we can contribute to preservation.

Why is it important to you to leave a legacy for conservation?

Leaving a legacy is one method to provide a more significant gift than periodic donations. Moreover, it postures the gift in a different light: How do you want the final accounting of your total assets to be disbursed as opposed to how much do you want to gift now. 

What did the previous generation teach you about land use and conservation?

In my situation, the lessons of the prior generation were negative, although perhaps comprehensible given the world view of their time period. Two generations ago, relatives engaged in environmental degradation; the common mindset in the northwest at the time was exploitive: use and develop natural resources to best suit your immediate needs. The next generation came to recognize some of the negative impacts on our environment by their predecessors, but were not of a mind to take the steps, commit the resources, or change the status quo on the land in order to right the prior wrongs. Sometimes the negative teachings of history are the most powerful.

For others considering including a bequest to GPC in their will, would you speak to the benefits and what the process has been like for you?

In my current situation, the process was very simple. I made a change to my IRA beneficiary designations, which could all be done as an online process without anyone’s assistance. In the future, as I move through retirement, I may make changes in my will, which would require only slightly more effort. And, of course, the benefits are knowing that with a simple act, there will be preservation of some portion of the northwest habitat that I love so much.

GPC’s Legacy Society Challenge activates a $1,000 match with each new pledge. Visit our website or contact Development Manager Katherine Tacke at katherine@greatpeninsula.org or (360) 373-3500 to learn more.