Remembering Helen Engle

April 12, 2019

Many of us speak of our work in the outdoors as a desire to leave the world better than we found it. This month we lost someone who succeeded in doing just that, Helen Engle, who passed away at her Tacoma-area home at 93.


Helen Engle devoted her life to conservation and the environment, founding groups like Tacoma Audubon, the Arboretum Foundation, Nisqually Land Trust, and the Washington Environmental Council. She was also an early board member of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition.


She played a critical role in saving places like the Billy Frank Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Point Defiance Park, Snake Lake, and many other places in Tacoma and beyond.


“A mighty oak has fallen,” said daughter Gretchen Engle to the Tacoma News Tribune. “She spread her branches really far. She touched so many people.”


A memorial service for Engle is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. on May 4 at Mason United Methodist Church in Tacoma.


You can learn more about Helen and her legacy in this piece by the Tacoma News Tribune and these remembrances by Washington Audubon and The Mountaineers.