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Nadine Weil: Heart of Green Inspires Gift for Redwood Forest

“The legacy I would most like to leave is the protection of a redwood forest in perpetuity.” —Nadine Weil

Thinking about the future is a full-time job for Nadine Weil. In 2004, it led her to found Heart of Green, an organization that supports sustainability projects. That focus also motivated her to include a bequest in her will for Save the Redwoods League.

"Redwoods are my favorite things on Earth," said Weil, who also co-hosts the annual Brower Youth Awards—named for conservationist David Brower. Born and raised in Northern California, Weil grew up adventuring in the redwoods. On these family outings, she gained a love of nature and important insights, she said.

"Redwoods remind me to stand tall in the face of adversity," Weil said. "Whenever I need to shed new light on a situation, I make a beeline for a redwood forest."

With her background in science—she majored in engineering at Stanford University and worked on the original electric vehicle design for General Motors—Weil is especially impressed with the League's work on climate change. She attended the League-sponsored Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative symposium and liked what she heard.

"It struck me that the very force that potentially threatens redwood forests could also be their salvation," she said. Weil was referring to how rapid climate change may threaten redwoods because they may not be able to adapt to it quickly enough. But redwoods also absorb and store great amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. "These giants are worth more standing up than lying down, in more ways than one," she said.