Scenic America Launches Planned Giving Society to Recognize Donors for Enduring Contributions
August 31, 2023

August is National Make-a-Will Month, and Scenic America is celebrating by establishing the Scenic America Planned Giving Society. This program is meant to recognize individuals who make an enduring gift to the organization through inclusion in their will or estate.

“Scenic America strives to recognize the important contributions made by all of our supporters, and when that support comes in the form of a bequest, it is especially important that we honor their life and legacy,” said Mark Falzone, president of Scenic America. “Our Planned Giving Society gives us the ability to formally recognize these individuals not only for their donations, but for their continued and enduring impacts on the organization and scenic conservation.”

The Scenic America Planned Giving Society is being established in honor of Cornelius “Neil” Ridgely, a supporter of Scenic America and civil servant who dedicated his life to the cause of scenic conservation. Before his passing earlier this year, Mr. Ridgely made the decision to include Scenic America in his will.

In honor of this generosity and his lifelong dedication to scenic conservation, Mr. Ridgely will henceforth be memorialized as an inaugural member of the Scenic America Planned Giving Society. He was also recognized by Scenic America as a Scenic Hero.

The Planned Giving Society webpage will list all society members and also provides resources and guidance on how to include Scenic America in planned giving arrangements, including sample legal language for estate planning. Any person who joins the Society within the first year will be commemorated as an Inaugural Member.

One such individual who has already established a planned gift to Scenic America is Martha Fuller Clark, Scenic America board member and former state senator (Democrat, New Hampshire).

“I am committed to continuing my mother’s legacy through my involvement with Scenic America, the organization she helped form,” said Fuller Clark. “This dedication has been a lifelong endeavor, which is why I’ve taken steps to ensure this commitment endures beyond my time.”

Ardis Wood, chair of Scenic America affiliate organization Scenic Chatham, has also made the decision to include Scenic America in her will.

“The inspiration I derive from beauty fuels my passion for supporting Scenic America’s mission,” said Wood. “This organization’s unique focus on preserving the visual environment resonates deeply with me, as it contributes to a sense of patriotism and inspiration.”

“The one thing that I’ve heard from every person I’ve spoken to about why they’ve included Scenic America in their planned giving arrangements is that we are the only organization doing this kind of work and the only organization they would trust to carry on their legacy in scenic conservation,” said Max Duchaine, communications director for Scenic America. “It’s incredibly humbling to know that Scenic America is effectively being entrusted to continue carrying out their work long after they can no longer do so.”

For more information about the Scenic America Planned Giving Society, visit our website at