Margaret Hopkins Leaves a Legacy . . . Forever
By Mike Bondi
When life comes to an end on earth, it's interesting to ponder what we leave behind as our legacy. For Margaret Hopkins, she will be remembered for many things... an intelligent, articulate lady... someone who liked to "make things happen"... a keen sense of community and helping others learn.
Then there is the Hopkins Demonstration Forest. This 120-acre forest was Margaret's vision . . .and is now an important part of her legacy. Margaret Hopkins passed away on September 22, 2001 at the age of 92. In 1990, it was Margaret's vision to establish an educational demonstration forest that spurred the creation of Forests Forever, Inc. (FFI), a non-profit corporation. Later that year, Margaret donated her Beavercreek tree farm to FFI . . . and the rest is history. "It was Margaret's idea that she wanted to see her tree farm used to teach people about Oregon's forests and how they could be managed," said Ken Everett, President of Forests Forever. "She really hoped all kinds of groups of visitors would come to study plant identification, tree planting, stream-side management, harvesting - a little of everything. She knew just how important forests are to our lives in the Pacific Northwest." And the people have come.
During Margaret's lifetime, more than 6,000 students, teachers, woodland owners, community leaders, professional resource managers and the public have come to visit the forest and participate in educational programs. In addition, the farm has become the home base for the Owen Sabin Skill Center's high school forestry vocational program that sends their advanced forestry students to the tree farm every other day of the week during the school year.
Besides a state-of-the-art classroom, the Hopkins Demonstration Forest now has a 3-bay shop, covered picnic shelter, two vault-style restrooms and parking facilities to accommodate up to six school busses at a time. Mike Bondi, Oregon State University Extension Forestry Agent and co-founder of Forests Forever, said, "Margaret's legacy will always be with us. She had the chance to see great progress at the tree farm during the past ten years. All of us at FFI really appreciate the support from everyone in the community - especially all of our volunteers, our contributors and her family - who have helped us make Margaret's vision a reality."
Mike Bondi is the Oregon State University Forestry and Christmas Tree Extension Agent for Clackamas County. Forests Forever, Inc. is a not for profit corporation which owns and manages Hopkins Demonstration Forest. This article was reprinted from the Tree Leader, October 2001. The Tree Leader is a publication of the Clackamas County Farm Forestry Association.