Nana Simone, 1956-2008
It's with a lot of sadness that I write this post. Nana Simone, a great friend of trails and wildlands and an embodiment of the essential spirit of the Wenatchee Foothills died on September 25, 2008. I was privileged to know Nana in my work as WTA's Advocacy Director.
Nana passed away as a result of head injuries sustained in an ATV accident while transporting materials to a work site on the Sage Hills Trail. The Sage Hills were one of Nana's favorite places. I could write all day about Nana's many efforts on behalf of the Wenatchee Foothills, Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and WTA. Suffice it to say that there were very few trail projects in the area in which she was not engaged. She was a ferocious organizer, pulling people passionate about trails and conservation together and sustaining them with her seemingly inexhaustible brio. That she did all this while sustaining a career as an integrated pest management consultant, volunteering for innumerable other organizations, enjoying an enormous network of friends and pursuing every chance to spend time in the outdoors she loved is a testament to her character.
What I remember best about Nana is her wilderness acumen and the great joy she took in the outdoors. I recall hiking with her on the Lower Mad River Trail, in the Entiat Ranger District, barely able to keep up, while she plucked berries one by one from bushes without slowing down. On a winter visit to Wenatchee for one of our annual Okanogan-Wenatchee Potlucks, Nana and others from the Land Trust took us on a snowy sunset hike above the town and into the foothills. I remember how at-home in the world Nana was on that outing.
I benefited more times than I can count from Nana's wisdom, intelligence and large-heartedness. The people who had the good fortune to know her will continue her work on behalf of wildlands and her community.
Hikers wishing to remember Nana may make contributions of time and funds to Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (PO Box 4461, Wenatchee, WA 98807) and the Nature Conservancy of California (4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203-1606).