Woman Leaves $1 Million From Her Estate to Washington State National Parks

The gift from the Elizabeth Ruth Wallace Living Trust is the largest single donation the WNPF has ever received.

Washington’s National Park Fund has just announced a $1 million contribution from the estate of late Elizabeth “Bette” Wallace, who enjoyed the three national parks in the state very much.

The three national parks of Washington state include Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks. The $1 million gift from the Elizabeth Ruth Wallace Living Trust is the largest single donation the WNPF has ever received.

“We are so grateful for the lovely and exceptionally generous gift from the Elizabeth Ruth Wallace Living Trust,” Laurie Ward executive director of WNPF said in the press release. “We wish Bette was still here so park rangers and I could personally show her all of the significant park infrastructure enabled by her major gift.”

According to Mother Nature Network, “Before her passing in 2016, Wallace established the trust fund in her name which was to be used to support causes that were near and dear to her heart. Her niece oversees the estate and the trust’s donations.”

The Olympic Mountains of Olympic National Park. Photo: Courtesy of Bill Baccus/NPS

The trust has previously donated $1 million to a Washington nonprofit that serves the area homeless, $500,000 to Washington area schools and $500,000 to Washington community parks and recreation fund.

Wallace was born in 1924 and grew up in Washington state. She was a world traveler, an avid skier, a golfer and loved the outdoors. While her husband and her eventually settled in Mountain View, California she always considered Washington her home.

Thanks to her, the state’s three national parks get some much needed funding. The $1 million donation will be split evenly among the three parks.

“This funding comes at a pivotal time for Washington's three largest national parks,” said Sarah Creachbaum, superintendent at Olympic National Park.

“Our country’s parks have experienced many financial challenges in recent years, and there is a significant maintenance backlog. This wonderful donation via WNPF enables us to invest in much-needed safety technology that can quite literally save lives in Washington for years to come.”

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