Kate Ireland Memorial

By Vann Middleton, Director of Operations & Support

Tall Timbers lost an iconic figure with the recent passing of Kate Ireland. Perhaps no one figure has cast a longer shadow on the organization in our fifty-two year history than “Miss Kate”. Her tenacious spirit and dedicated leadership ushered Tall Timbers into a new era with a global reputation for exemplary science based research and a national model for land conservation.

Under her watchful eye and headstrong spirit, Tall Timbers grew exponentially in both size and stature. During her tenure as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Tall Timbers more than tripled the amount of money raised annually to support our research and conservation programs. Her once-fledgling Red Hills Conservation Association (now known as the Tall Timbers Land Conservancy) is currently the largest regional land trust in both Georgia and Florida with over 114,000 acres under conservation easement – a tremendous accomplishment! She worked tirelessly to promote prescribed burning as a necessary land management tool for healthy forests and abundant wildlife. Furthermore, she twisted every arm, bent every ear and looked in every nook and cranny to find additional support for the research, conservation and education programs at Tall Timbers.

Kate left her mark on so many people and programs at Tall Timbers. She was the consummate fundraising professional and she had a unique way of “convincing” others to include Tall Timbers in their charitable giving plans. She always put her money where her mouth was, giving generously to every aspect of Tall Timbers. Giving back to her community was in her blood. It was a part of her DNA and it was infectious! Personally, she was always there for the Development Office, always signing personal letters asking for support, making personal calls and visits with prospective donors and lending her expertise and experience in Fundraising 101. I spent countless hours with her on the sun porch at her beloved Foshalee Plantation, listening to her advice and absorbing her counsel.

She was personally responsible for the first $1 million gift to The Tall Timbers Foundation, endowing a portion of the Game Bird Program through her gift from the Parker Poe Trust. The Kate Ireland Auction and Golf Tournament annually raises over $125,000 for the research and conservation programs of Tall Timbers. The Kate Ireland Quail and Conservation Area on Tall Timbers was named in her honor in 2007. She and her sister Louise Humphrey also gave the money to name the Ireland Wing of the Wade Research Center in 2000. The list of her direct impact on Tall Timbers goes on and on…

It comes as no surprise that Tall Timbers has received numerous memorial contributions over the past few weeks in tribute to Kate. I thought I would share with each of you what Tall Timbers plans to do with these gifts.

  • In her honor, Tall Timbers has planted a majestic longleaf pine on the Beadel Lawn overlooking Lake Iamonia. A plaque in her memory will be place at the foot of the tree for visitors to admire.
  • Given her love of quail hunting and the longterm research efforts of the Game Bird Program, Tall Timbers has created the Kate Ireland Bobwhite Research Internship. This competitive internship will be annually awarded to a qualified graduate student candidate in wildlife science whose work will directly benefit the Game Bird Program at Tall Timbers.
  • Furthermore some of these contributions will be used towards a new museum exhibit being planned for the gun cabinet in the Historic Beadel House. This exhibit will showcase the artifacts of the hunting culture of the early quail hunting plantations in the Red Hills region.

We hope that you will agree that these memorial projects are a fitting tribute to one who meant so much to Tall Timbers. If you would like to make a contribution in memory of Kate, please send your gift to:

Tall Timbers
c/o Kate Ireland Memorial
13093 Henry Beadel Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32311

We will miss Kate Ireland’s tireless dedication and support of Tall Timbers. She has left all of us a legacy of good stewardship of our precious natural resources and the importance of protecting them for future generations to enjoy. 

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