Building a Lasting Legacy Together for Nature

By Ruth Morton and Hal Busch

Preserving Nature: A Shared Commitment

Living intentionally and cherishing our connection with the natural world is at the heart of who we are. Our philosophy revolves around the understanding that preserving nature is not just essential for the environment but also for our collective human experience. We believe it’s our responsibility to take action to conserve and educate others about the importance of protecting our planet. This shared desire led us to make a significant decision: leaving a planned gift to the Bird Alliance of Oregon.


Ruth Morton and Hal Busch in the forest birding
Hal Busch and Ruth Morton

Roots in the Midwest, Vision for Conservation

Both of us hail from small communities in the Midwest where spending time outdoors was ingrained in our daily lives. However, our deeper understanding of the urgency to preserve nature came later in life through our respective journeys. Hal’s extensive experience in the mining and construction industry across Asia, Australia, and North America opened his eyes to the destructive impact of development on ecosystems and indigenous communities. Ruth’s career in higher education and organizational development, combined with her passion for observing nature, heightened her awareness of the harm being done to habitats, animals, and people.

Taking Action

Feeling compelled to make a difference, we both embarked on paths of action. Hal engaged with sustainability initiatives like The Natural Step and delved into local public service, founding environmental education nonprofits and serving on various boards. Ruth, an avid nature enthusiast, dedicated her time to outdoor education and volunteered extensively with organizations like the Sierra Club and Bird Alliance of Oregon, where she currently serves on the board.

A Journey Together

Our shared love for birding brought us closer together, from our beginnings at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 1985 to exploring birding destinations worldwide with Bird Alliance of Oregon. Along the way, we participated in fundraising events like Birdathon and even embarked on our own “Couple’s Big Year” adventure, seeing over 500 species together.

A Lasting Legacy

In 2012, as we updated our estate plan, supporting the mission of Bird Alliance of Oregon felt like a natural choice. Its commitment to conservation, advocacy, and education resonated deeply with us, and we wanted to ensure its vital work continued beyond our lifetimes. Today, in 2024, our dedication to supporting Bird Alliance of Oregon endures through our estate planning efforts. We extend an invitation to you, with your unique experiences and understanding, to join us in leaving a legacy by becoming a Legacy Circle member with your planned gift.

Our journey towards conservation and environmental stewardship has been deeply fulfilling, and we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the preservation of nature. Through our partnership with Bird Alliance of Oregon and our planned gift, we aim to leave behind a world where future generations can continue to marvel at the wonders of the natural world. We invite you to join us in this endeavor and leave your own mark on the path towards a sustainable future.

Learn More About Our Planned Giving Program