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A healthy economy goes hand in hand with a healthy environment. That’s the philosophy of conservationists Eliot and Tina Scull.

Bob Bugert, executive director of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust based in Wenatchee, Washington, said the Sculls have been steadfast promoters of the concept that environmental protection and a strong economy are interdependent.

The Sculls believe that communities that provide parks, open spaces, and trails and that maintain the quality of the environment attract businesses and family-wage jobs. Eliot noted that all across the West, the communities that have prospered (such as Missoula, Bend, or Sequim) are the ones that have taken care of their natural environment. Young people tend to return to such communities because of the jobs, and that strengthens the entire fabric of society.

The Sculls have offered to donate a nine-acre orchard in East Wenatchee as the site for a new park. Bugert said the gesture is consistent with the Sculls’ approach. "They place a high value on quality of life and giving back to the community."

Gordon Congdon, former executive director of the Land Trust, said the Sculls maintain a positive attitude and a friendly relationship with everyone they work with, even when they have strong disagreements.

"When you’re dealing with land use issues and natural resource issues, there are always strong opinions," he said. "They never let differences of opinion become important or divisive or ruin friendships or relationships. They are just so gracious, so generous, so committed to finding solutions that work for all parties involved."