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Leave a Legacy Month: Love for nature that still shines bright

One of the best parts of my job is meeting WWF’s most committed supporters. Just in time for Leave a Legacy Month, I spoke with Dieter Menzel about his passion for wilderness, ignited by his late wife, Oivi, and why he has chosen to remember WWF with a gift in his Will.

Dieter Menzel comes from a long line of forest managers, so he spent much of his childhood enjoying the outdoors. In his adult life, Dieter was caught up in the rush of life, his appreciation of nature subdued for years – until Oivi.

His late wife was passionate about nature conservation. “She took me to Algonquin Provincial Park and woke up my love of the forest,” he remembers fondly. “We spent a lot of time enjoying the outdoors together. She felt we had a responsibility to take care of the planet.”

Photo of Diete and Oivi

Photo of Dieter and Oivi

Oivi passed away at a young age, but her passion lives on in Dieter. “Years after losing Oivi, I started reflecting on our legacy. We didn’t have children, but I wanted to leave something behind. WWF is one organization that stood out as taking conservation very seriously, based in sound science.” With Oivi in mind, Dieter has supported many of WWF’s projects, including protecting endangered red wolves in Algonquin and instituting marine protected areas. His concern for the health of our oceans runs deep, and he played a key role with WWF to establish the Gully off the coast of Nova Scotia.

“Focusing my giving on just a few organizations has allowed me to have a big impact on causes that are meaningful to me,” he says. “I want my contribution to nature to continue even after I’m gone, as I’ve been able to do for Oivi.” Dieter has arranged a legacy gift in his Will, which will support programs that are in the greatest need of funding. His and Oivi’s love of nature will make an impact for generations to come.

May is Leave a Legacy Month. To learn more about legacy giving, get in touch with Maya Ahmad via email or visit our Legacy Giving webpage.