Ward “Wink” Hastings died entirely too soon at age 69 on August 7, 2016 in Baltimore, MD after battling pneumonia. Wink is survived by his brother and sister-in-law Chip and Susan Hastings, and nephew Chris Hastings and wife Cyndy in New Hampshire, his niece Jan Hastings and husband Chip Stiles in Maine, and his Aunt Betty Keller, cousins Burma Barnes and Lucinda Keller in Hawaii, 5 grand-nieces and nephews, a tremendous network of friends in the greater Baltimore area, and colleagues throughout the country.
Born in Massachusetts in 1947, Wink spent his childhood in New England and moved to Utah to attend Utah State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture in 1974. Family, friends, and colleagues will remember Wink as a conservationist, a photographer with an acute eye for the natural world, a talented woodworker, an extreme skier, rock climber, cyclist, hiker, kayaker, and competitive amateur triathlete. He was physically tough as nails, gentle in soul and heart, and in tune with popular culture. Wink was a gentle and kind friend with a wry sense of humor, the best storyteller, a life enthusiast, and an impeccable gift giver. In recent years, Wink was a regular volunteer teaching meditation at the Maryland Women’s Prison in Baltimore and studied at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge, a meditation and retreat center in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in New Hampshire.
Wink was a true champion for public and private land conservation and had a distinguished 42 years of service with the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management. In the late 1980’s, Wink joined the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program as a Landscape Architect in Milwaukee, later moving to Atlanta before finally ending up with the Chesapeake Bay Program in Annapolis, Maryland. In Milwaukee he worked on projects such as a restoration plan for the Chicago River, and a greenway plan for the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee, a project recently recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects. In Atlanta one of the many projects he worked on was a plan to commemorate route of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March as a National Historic Trail.
Wink was seldom in the Bay Program office in Annapolis and that’s how he liked it. He spent the majority of his time in the field- working with local watershed organizations and land trusts throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed teaching through practice, rather than rhetoric or strident ideology. In recent years, he had been working with the Land Trust Alliance and local land trusts on strategies for increasing the relevancy and diversity of the land trust movement. He was a frequent instructor for national strategic conservation training and conducted conservation planning workshops for land trusts.
American Chestnut trees will be planted by friends and family in his honor and donations in Memory of Wink may be made to Wonderwell Mountain Refuge http://www.wonderwellrefuge.org or The National Land Trust Alliance http://www.landtrustalliance.org. A Scholarship fund for students in the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning program at Utah State University is being established in Wink’s name.
Wink was well loved and will be sorely missed.