When Nancy and Ron Gronowski first moved to Oregon from Ohio in 1979, they were amazed by the incredible beauty and one of a kind resource they encountered when they saw the Gorge. Because they were so enthralled with the landscape, it also turned out to be the first place they took out of town visitors who came to see them.
When Nancy started working for Oregon State Parks in 1980, she had many opportunities to spend time in the Gorge and other unique places in Oregon, but one of her favorite undertakings while working for State Parks was helping to create the Study for the Historic Columbia River Highway in 1987. Over the past 40 years, it has been a very fulfilling experience to watch what has developed. Just as when the master roadbuilder Samuel Lancaster engineered the highway in 1916 and integrated it into the landscape, Nancy participated in making the HCRH part of what makes the Gorge a beautiful place for all to enjoy.
Ron and Nancy agree that of all the work that Friends does to preserve, protect and steward the Gorge, acquiring, protecting and making it accessible for people of all abilities is foremost in their minds. With Nancy's career as a landscape architect and Ron's as an architect, they understand that it is a constant balancing act to make sure the Gorge is both protected and accessible. As they aptly put it, "Regardless of economic, social or physical status, everyone deserves to enjoy the beauty of the Gorge and we are all responsible for protecting it."
As members of Friends since Nancy Russell was at the helm, Ron and Nancy have grown to love the Gorge and support Friends' mission to preserve it. Their decision to further their support beyond their lifetimes by naming Friends in their estate plans echoes their commitment to protect the Gorge now and for future generations. Nancy and Ron, thank you for your belief and dedication!