Spencer Higgins Education Fund

Remembering Spencer

The Spencer Higgins Education Fund was created in Fall, 2017, by Marilyn Walster and Sidney Friedman, to honor the memory of their son, Spencer, his love of birds, and his commitment to justice. That love started with a chance sighting of a Western Tanager in his north Portland backyard. It led him to Smith and Bybee Lakes to view waterfowl and waders. More than once he headed across town at rumors of a Pileated Woodpecker or Great Horned Owl near Pittock Mansion. When wild turkeys waylaid his car he considered it a badge of honor. Spencer loved Portland. He was a city boy through and through with a soft spot for the natural world. He would be the first to donate to an educational fund that provides opportunities for kids to explore dirt paths and learn about birds.

A group of kids hike through the Columbia River Gorge. The photo shows them walking on a trail away from the camera with the Columbia River in the background.

Giving to the Fund

Spencer’s Fund was created to ensure that all families have access to Portland Audubon’s Education programs regardless of financial and logistical barriers. Your gift to this fund supports our long-standing collaboration with a number of community-based organizations and enables over 100 children to attend free and low-cost camps and programs each year. Portland Audubon works intentionally with partners, creating a culture of deep listening that elevates the lived experience and needs of constituents as the driving forces of our practice. Our expert educators combine exploration, natural science, and play to foster a lasting, resonant sense of place in the outdoors, and create meaningful invitations for everyone to engage in conservation in their own community. 

Please consider making a generous gift to Spencer’s Fund today to ensure environmental education is accessible to all children.

More Information

For more information or questions about Spencer’s Fund, please contact Aaron Shilkaitis at ashilkaitis@audubonportland.org or 971-222-0612.

Spencer Higgins, photo by Nateesh Noakes.