Donor Profiles: “Saving the Birds and the Bees” • Friends of the Earth

Donor Profiles: “Saving the Birds and the Bees”

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Karen Swope has been an environmentalist and a musician for much of her life. 

Those two passions collided when she learned that John Denver, her favorite songwriter, supported several conservation organizations — including Friends of the Earth. Karen and her late husband John soon became Friends of the Earth supporters. 

Karen’s family has followed Friends of the Earth’s campaigns to save bees from toxic pesticides and protect our food system for years. “I’m proud to be a part of victories like moving the garden industry away from bee-toxic pesticides,” she says.

“But I know the fight for a healthy and just planet will continue for decades to come. My passion and drive for protecting the natural world led me to include Friends of the Earth as one of the beneficiaries in my will. 

I was drawn to Friends of the Earth because of the campaign to protect pollinators. The BeeAction campaign inspired me to act locally to save butterflies and bees.” 

In 2019, Karen began the process of getting a pollinator garden approved for her city park in Sparks, Nevada. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic put the garden plans on pause, but Karen knows that making a lasting impact can take a lifetime, and it takes all of us to ensure systems are in place to protect the planet we love. 

“I believe my passion and drive for protecting the natural world is one that many Friends of the Earth supporters can relate to,” she says.