Gladys Watkins Allen
In the spring of 1993, Great Rivers chose Gladys W. Allen, conservationist and community leader, as President of the Executive Board. Over the years the Children's Home and Aid Society of Illinois, the Jenny D. Hayner Library Association, the YWCA, the Oasis Center, Washington University and McKendree College, to name but a few, have all benefitted from her support and inspiration.
With her enthusiasm and love of the bluffs, her indomitable spirit and clear thinking, she helped found and nurture the three year old charitable land trust into a solid position in the community. She was effective in fundraising, and her vivacious personality, enthusiasm and joy for life added a sparkle for all those who worked with her.
When she moved to the Washington, DC area last February she continued as president and teleconferenced meetings. At 75, on September 28th she died of cancer at her home in Chevy Chase, Md. In addition to her husband, Glenn, a leading conservationist in his own right, she is survived by four daughters from her marriage to Robert H. Levis II, Gladys Pilz of Albuquerque, NM, Jenny Sadow of University City, MO, Sarah Phy of Franklin, TN, and Robin Chin of Bethesda, MD; three sisters, Jane Okie of Wakefield, RI, Ruth Allen of Waterville, OH, and Lois Ward of Alton, IL; and eight grandchildren.
Great Rivers is pleased to announce a gift from the Spencer.T. and Ann W. Olin Foundation for a substantial portion of the cost of operating the charitable land trust for the next three years. $180,000 will be paid in installments of $60,000 each in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
The grant will enable Great Rivers to strengthen its structure and internal organization and will provide an opportunity to broaden its financial support and base of Friends. This grant demonstrates the profound and continuing commitment of the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Foundation to the greater Alton area and to its cultural heritage.
As a charitable land trust, Great Rivers is committed to preserving the unique ecosystem at the confluence of the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri Rivers. Great Rivers' primary project is to acquire scenic easements by donation from more than 330 landowners to protect the bluff line "Viewshed" along the river. Great Rivers is also actively involved in developing green space for public access such as the new Clifton Terrace Park.