Patrick Willis
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
Hillsboro, Oregon

Pat Willis has phenomenal energy, vision, and a gift for making things happen. The executive director of Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, a 650-acre wetland, his program provides students of all ages with the skills and tools they need to involve themselves in their communities as active, contributing citizens. These programs reach more than 20,000 students every year.

Pat translated the vision of Jackson Bottom into a wealth of exciting new projects and programs. He is responsible for designing the education, habitat restoration, research, and water quality programs at the preserve. His education programs connect citizens to authentic wetland projects and accomplishments at Jackson Bottom and throughout the Tualatin River Watershed.

The programs at Jackson Bottom include a Biodiversity Field Program, Water Quality Traveling Programs, Tualatin Watershed Involvement Program, and Field Natural History teacher in-services. All of these programs create opportunities for citizens to interact with their communities through involvement and participation in real world projects that increase the capacity of the communities. Pat successfully combined the resources from Jackson Bottom with the arts, music, and ecosystem restoration to offer citizens an opportunity to build a sense of place within the landscape.

Pat is also an adjunct science instructor at three universities and a frequent speaker at workshops and conferences. His easy-going manner and great sense of humor make him very effective, well liked, and respected in the workplace and in the community.

— Lynn Wilson-Dean, Metro Regional Parks and Greenspaces, Portland, Oregon