1880 - 1976

At his death in 1976, William P. Wharton's will created The William P. Wharton Trust to carry on his lifelong support of the study and conservation of nature in its broadest form on the local, national, and international scenes.

One of the more active and perceptive pioneers of his day, Mr. Wharton served on the board of the Massachusetts Forest and Park Association from 1912 until 1970 and as its president from 1936 until 1960. He joined the National Parks Association in 1919 and was its president from 1935 until 1953. Mr. Wharton was an incorporator of the New England Forestry Foundation in 1944 and a director until his death. He was an officer and board member of National Audubon from 1915 until 1943 and a director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society from 1912 to 1927. Birding was one of his great passions, and he was one of the first to be granted a federal bird banding permit and operated an active banding station at his home in Groton, Massachusetts for many years.

Indeed, his interests and accomplishments spanned the entire gamut of environmental concerns, from chairmanship of the Town Forest Committee in Groton, to the presidency of the National Parks Association. His years of active service to these organizations spanned almost three quarters of a century in an era when such causes were more often the subject of derision than popular support. He was unusual in being keenly interested in the scientific management and production of timber as well as its preservation, as manifested, especially in his concern for the redwood forests of the west coast.