The new Forestry and Natural Resources Outreach Center at the Hopkins Demonstration Forest in Beavercreek was officially named after the Belton Family—prominent forest owners in Clackamas County—at a dedication ceremony Sunday, July 9.

John Belton was a well-known woodland owner who loved teaching and sharing his knowledge and experience with other landowners, professional natural resource managers, youth, and the public. He hosted numerous tours, demonstrations and events at the family’s forest property east of Sandy. Belton was raised in Clackamas County, had degrees from Lewis and Clark College and Oregon State University prior to spending his career as a university professor and administrator in California. He passed away in 2013.

“We are honored to have the Belton name on our new Outreach Center,” said Mike Bondi, Forests Forever, Inc. Board member and Fundraising Chair for the Center project. “Many family forest owners will remember John. He was a wonderful teacher, an innovator, and advocate for the sustainable management of our natural resources.”

Belton was an OSU Master Woodland Manager—a cadre of trained Extension Service volunteers who work in the community sharing their knowledge and experience with others. John was also actively involved in the Clackamas County Farm Forestry Association, the American Tree Farm System, plus numerous other natural resource organizations.

Carol Belton, John’s wife, and sons Arthur from California and Stephen from Florida—and their families—were present for the dedication and to recognize their husband and father. During the dedication event, a storyboard sharing John’s story was unveiled in the Center’s Conference Room. According to Bondi, “We want the community to remember John and his many contributions to sustainable forestry and the woodland community. John was a great supporter of the work we were doing here at Hopkins in our early years—as well as one of our volunteers. John’s legacy will continue on.”