In Memory: A Visit with Joan Jagow

Joan Jagow was a warm and generous person whose enthusiasm and spirit inspired those around her.

Joan was a Trust for Public Land supporter for several years because of her appreciation for the natural world. Our staff first met at a project dedication event when The Trust for Public Land helped to add 132 acres of protected land to the James H. Barrow Field Station at Hiram College. Joan shared some thoughts about why she chose to contribute to our land-for-people mission.

Growing up in and around New York City, her earliest contact with nature was growing plant seeds in containers on the fire escape outside her window. She grew up loving the seashore, but never really knew the woodland areas until she came to Cleveland. She recalled fond memories of hiking in the Cleveland Metroparks when she was new to the city and how that helped her discover the area’s natural beauty.

Public parks cultivated an appreciation for forests and provided inspiration and discovery. “Just seeing an owl in the wild for the first time last summer gave me the excitement of a child,” she said. “I believe in the continuity of life in people, plants, and animals. We have a connectivity that makes our survival dependent on one another.”

Her concern about the fragility of the environment and the damage caused by poorly planned development led her to support The Trust for Public Land. She told us, “Conservation is the key to ensuring that that others—city kids and suburban dwellers alike—can enjoy the delights of nature that have sustained me through every period of my life.”

Her enthusiasm and warmth had an impact on everyone she met. Her generous contributions to The Trust for Public Land will continue to have an important impact in northeast Ohio—a legacy of conservation we know that she’d be proud of. We will always be thankful to Joan for helping make close-to-home conservation a reality.