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Weaving Traditions and Philanthropy Into The Fabric of Family

Posted Sep 19, 2018

Brent and Janet Sesler, along with their two sons; Morgan and Ryan, have been volunteering at Asbury Woods as a family since 2004.  A lifelong tradition of giving back was introduced to Brent by his father at a young age, stemming from his father’s involvement in the Sertoma Club.  Brent followed suit, starting to volunteer at Asbury Woods when he was a boyscout.  He worked on several Eagle Scout projects with his troop doing trail maintenance and improvements, including the creation of the Eagle Trail, which is heavily used to this day.

 “We all need to give back in some way to the community where we live, work and play,” says Brent. “I enjoy the outdoors and believe education is one of the greatest gifts we can share so Asbury Woods is a natural fit for my volunteer efforts.  I want to ensure that people can continue to benefit from the programs, learning opportunities and outdoor experiences that I had as a child at Asbury Woods. It is a wonderful community asset.”

Philanthropy and community support as a family has always been a priority for Brent and Janet. “I enjoyed Asbury Woods growing up and wanted to share that love for nature and the idea of giving back to our community with our boys,” says Janet. “We have been volunteering as a family ever since the boys were in elementary school. We began with simple trail clean up days and have moved to trail maintenance, festivals and specials events as the boys grew.  Our work on the trails led both boys to choose to do trail projects at Asbury Woods for their Eagle Scout projects.”

The impact of Morgan and Ryan’s Eagle Scout projects are significant to Asbury Woods. Morgan’s project was completed in 2012 when he replaced and re-positioned portions of the Greenway Trail for more accessibility and replaced boardwalk and a bridge near the Grandmother Tree. Ryan’s fondest memory of Asbury Woods is completing his Eagle Scout Project in 2016, which involved repairing and updating the Bluff Trail and the Fern Loop with fencing, boardwalks and a new trail head.

Equally important as the physical work the Sesler’s have done for Asbury Woods is the sentiment and alignment with our mission that they share and help us accomplish.  “The most important work Asbury Woods does is teaching about nature and our impact on the environment,” says Ryan.

Morgan agrees, “Educating the public and raising awareness of our local ecosystem is important to Asbury Woods and to me.”

The Sesler’s are one of the many families who have made volunteerism and philanthropy to Asbury Woods a tradition that crosses generations.  We are grateful that their family traditions help us carry on our tradition of being a premier place for environmental education, outdoor recreation and stewardship of natural resources.

Photo caption: Ryan, Morgan, Brent and Janet Sesler at Tunnel View at Yosemite National Park.