Meet Mary McCord

ONDA Volunteer Extraordinaire

Over the past few years, Mary McCord went from being newly introduced to ONDA to becoming a frequent volunteer in Bend. Mary and her husband, Tom, attended an annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival event and were instantly inspired to become ONDA members. They formed a personal connection with Oregon’s high desert long before moving here and continue to fall in love with new places across the state.

As Mary says, “I find enjoyment in the peaceful wide open spaces, sunshine, geology, wildlife and rich history of Oregon’s high desert.”

Mary appreciates the camaraderie that comes with volunteering alongside other ONDA supporters both in the office and in the field.  Volunteering on ONDA’s stewardship trips has introduced her to new favorite places in Oregon’s high desert, including the Clarno area of the John Day River Basin.

Almost unable to put her appreciation for the landscape into words, Mary reflected on the impact of the efforts of ONDA volunteers, saying, “it is exciting to see the benefits [of past stewardship trip efforts] such as the beaver dam analogs on Pine Creek which are helping the stream to start to recover. Granted, it is a long process, but it’s amazing to see the difference ONDA volunteers can make.”

She finds hope working with others who share the same agenda, saying, “If you have the ability and desire, it’s important to do something to contribute. It doesn’t have to be big, because every little bit helps.”

Her wish for the future is a more resilient landscape in the face of threats like climate change. With the effort of ONDA members and volunteers like Mary, the outlook is certainly brighter.


Want to get more involved in ONDA’s efforts? Learn more about the various ways you can pitch in at