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New Memorial Fund Honors Aspiring Wildland Firefighter

Donations support land preservation in Southeast Ohio

Athens, OH – A newly established fund in memory of a passionate, local young woman and aspiring wildland firefighter will support Athens Conservancy’s land conservation efforts in southeastern Ohio for years to come.

Selinde Downey Roosenburg, 20, died in March 2021, as a result of a UTV (utility task vehicle) rollover accident in which she was a passenger, while working for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry. She was working with a crew on a controlled forest burn at Richland Furnace State Forest, and was looking forward to attending the University of Idaho to specialize in wildland fire management.

Her parents, Kate Kelley and Willem Roosenburg, have created the Selinde Roosenburg Memorial Fund/Athens Conservancy Land Preservation in memory of their daughter and to protect the forests and fields of Southeast Ohio for future generations.

The funds donated will be used to acquire areas rich with the flora and fauna that Selinde cherished, and which she aspired to serve as a forester and wildlands firefighter. The memorial fund is designed to enable Athens Conservancy, an Ohio nonprofit land trust, to better leverage matching funds for land acquisition by providing a source of funding as a foundation for projects. 

Selinde Roosenburg’s parents chose to establish the fund with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO), a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. Since 1998, FAO has been working with donors who are passionate about Appalachian Ohio, its communities, and its future. The organization helps donors give back in ways that are meaningful – to them and to our region.

For more information about Athens Conservancy, visit or contact

To learn more about the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and opportunities to give, grow and create with FAO, visit or contact or 740-753-1111.

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit and follow FAO on Facebook and Instagram.

About Athens Conservancy
Athens Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust that exists to protect special spaces and wild places for people to explore and enjoy, maintain healthy ecosystems, preserve water quality, protect biodiversity, and nurture natural habitats. For more information, visit