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Lifelong Generosity: Don and Louise Johnston

A Legacy of Preservation


Don and Louise Johnston joined PRBO Executive Director Ellie M. Cohen at the site of our new Center last June. Photo by Steve Thal
Pursuing their fascination with culture, music and birds, Louise and Don Johnston have travelled to many parts of the world, from Latin America to Europe to Africa. Yet their favorite birding spots on Earth are Bodega Bay and Point Reyes!

The Johnstons are strongly connected with their long-time home and community in Sebastopol, where they are active with Friends of the Library and also support the Santa Rosa Symphony.

As members of PRBO Conservation Science, Don and Louise are translating their concern for bird populations and the environment into a generous bequest.

In addition, to help PRBO build our new San Francisco Bay Research Center, the Johnstons have made a gift in loving memory of their son David. Serving as a Colorado district court judge at the time of his passing, in 2001, David Johnston loved the natural world. His life was rich in wonderful accomplishment--as a scholar, athlete, Peace Corps volunteer, and outdoorsman.

PRBO Conservation Science is an organization the Johnstons fully support. "We believe in PRBO because of the value and worldwide reach of its research," Louise explains. "PRBO is at the forefront of preservation and shares its research results worldwide."

The Johnstons' interest in birds really took off after Louise retired from teaching and the pair began taking birding trips. On numerous visits to PRBO's Palomarin Field Station, says Louise, "we saw how PRBO tracked individual birds and learned about survival and breeding success. We were amazed at how much information can be gained from mist-netting studies--and how PRBO shares this information with other organizations."

The Johnstons are concerned about the health of ecosystems. "We are using up resources too fast," says Don, "and not focusing enough on preservation." For Louise, a major issue is "the infringement of people and concrete into wildlife habitats--such as drilling for oil in the Arctic!" Adds Don, "We want to support wonderful organizations, including PRBO, that help find solutions for the planet."

PRBO is truly grateful for the Johnstons' generosity. The strong commitment of individuals like Louise and Don makes our work possible--and reminds us of its importance!

For information on including PRBO in your estate planning, contact Nancy Gamble, PRBO Director of Individual Giving, at 415-868-1221, ext. 324, or ngamble@prbo.org.