Four County Community Foundation

For the Love of Nature…The Forever Justin Shilling Foundation

Justin Shilling loved being outdoors. It’s where so many of his family’s and friend’s memories of Justin are set— whether that was golfing, playing baseball, going on nature walks, rock hunting for Petoskey stones in Lake Huron with his siblings, hunting with his dad, fishing, camping, climbing the dunes of Lake Michigan or kicking back and hammocking in a local park.

To honor his memory and support conservation efforts, ‘For the Love of Nature Fund…The Forever Justin Shilling Foundation’ has been created with Four County Community Foundation. Justin was one of four students killed in a November 2021 shooting at Oxford High School.

When his mom, Jill Soave, began thinking of a meaningful way to memorialize her son, her thoughts turned to all the happy memories of Justin in nature throughout the years.

“I feel Justin in every sunrise, in every flower and every majestic tree,” Jill said. “He loved all of God’s creation, great and small. He had a connection with nature.”

Jill hopes the For the Love of Nature Fund can accomplish many things, including planting trees in his name, hosting local clean up events and supporting clean water and air initiatives, particularly those related to the Great Lakes. She envisions many of these events being open to community involvement and inclusive to all people who want to participate. Plans are being made for a May 2024 Walk-A-Thon event on the Polly Ann Trail.

“Protecting the environment was personal to him and I think he would really be proud with these types of projects,” Jill said.

Jill hopes that Justin’s Nature fund projects can help others get outside and connect with natural spaces—something that benefits a person’s physical and mental health. She’s found solace in working in her flowerbeds and knows that Justin inspired all who knew him to enjoy every moment and never waste a beautiful day!

To donate to ‘For the Love of Nature Fund…The Forever Justin Shilling Foundation,’ visit or send a check to Four County Community Foundation, 141 S. Main Street, Suite A Romeo MI 48065.