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Donor of Island Education Left a Legacy

89507 In December, CBF lost a friend, trustee, and one-of-a-kind donor. In 1988, G.R. “Randy” Klinefelter made an unusual gift to CBF: a 250-acre island. In doing so, he and his family established CBF’s largest residential education center, Port Isobel, and opened up a treasured and historic piece of the Chesapeake to thousands of students, teachers, and citizens.

Named after his wife, Isobel, the former family getaway is a stone’s throw away from its sister island Tangier, home to one of the Chesapeake’s last remaining watermen’s communities. Over the past 20 years, students, teachers, and decision makers have traveled by boat to Port Isobel to explore the island’s marshes, beach, and woodlands. Often, visiting Tangier to learn about the nearly lost way of life is part of the trip.

The Klinefelter family owned the property for 30 years before donating it to CBF, and during that time instituted soil conservation measures and other environmental improvements. Residents of Ephrata, PA, the Klinefelters recognized the connection between their home state in the northern watershed and the downstream Chesapeake Bay.

Mr. Klinefelter served on the CBF Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1999.

Memorial gifts in his honor will be accepted at:

Randy Klinefelter Memorials
6 Herndon Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21403

I visited Port Isobel for the first time last fall. It's a beautiful place and a wonderful place to learn about our Bay. To see photos, visit our Flickr page. To share your own Flickr photos, tag them "CBF Port Isobel."

We'd love to hear your stories about Randy Klinefelter and your experiences at Port Isobel. Feel free to post your own comments below.


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Don Baugh

We all will miss Randy greatly. Fortunately, he had the vision to leave a lasting legacy, Port Isobel Island. As the person who negotiated the gift of Port Isobel, I had the privilege of learning from one of the Bay's finest legends. Imagine Randy, the captain of a 110-foot three-masted schooner, or Randy growing oysters in an improvised fashion--egg cartons coated in concrete (the cartons dissolved), or Randy single-handedly planting thousands of trees on Port Isobel--he was definitely one of a kind. He will always be with us, fortunately, as we are living his dream at Port Isobel, experiencing his Chesapeake, and teaching the next generation to do the same. Thank you Randy.

Mary Tod Winchester

A visit with Randy always brought a new project or idea. You knew it was happening when you saw the twinkle in his eyes. We are so thankful at CBF that one of his special projects was the family's Port Isobel Island retreat. Randy's twinkle turned into a starburst. Port Isobel became a CBF education center and has turned thousands of visitors into Bay Savers. We are thankful for Randy and his family's generosity and vision for making a positive difference for the Bay.

Claire Hudson

Even though I am no longer with CBF, my trips, memories, and knowledge gained from Port Isobel will always remain close to my heart!! I am so glad that so many students have had the chance to experience all that PI has to offer. I hope someday that I will be able to give my students the opportunity to visit Port Isobel and its wonderful staff!



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