Historic Farmland near Coupeville Protected

Author: Whidbey Camano Land Trust | 05/03/19
       

Jan Pickard

Jan Pickard next to her family’s protected farmland on the edge of Coupeville.

Family’s love of property dates back 65 years

Jan Pickard has fond memories of the farmland where she spent much of her childhood.

That’s why she and her brother, Ken, wanted to keep the land on Coupeville’s edge the way they lovingly remember it. The siblings worked with the Land Trust late last year to make that happen, permanently protecting 12 acres of pasture with a conservation easement.

“My folks bought that (land) when I was eight years old,” Jan said, referring to Herb and Muriel Pickard, longtime owners of the former Prairie Center Mercantile business in Coupeville. “Dad just loved agriculture. He loved horses. I got totally into raising Arabian horses.”

The land today remains largely the same as it was in 1965, when Jan graduated from Coupeville High School. It’s mostly open pasture off a quiet street overlooking Penn Cove. The family long ago sold a portion of the farm where the Pickard family’s house still stands.

“Coupeville is our heritage, our memories, our life. Protecting our family farmlands has been our highest priority for our love of the past and the future.”

The Pickard property connects to another Land Trust easement that protects property where the neighboring Bishop family grew up. Together, the easements protect a long scenic stretch of Madrona Way on the western boundary of Coupeville. To date, the Land Trust has permanently protected 1,770 acres in Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Another six properties, totaling 360 acres, are in the process of being protected, thanks to the financial support of Land Trust members.

Pickards

Jan Pickard and her father Herb Pickard around 1960. Photo courtesy Jan Pickard.

The Bishop and Pickard conservation easements also allow for a future trail that will be part of the Land Trust’s Walking Ebey’s Trail System. The trail will connect to existing trails in and around Coupeville.

In all, the Pickard family has worked with the Land Trust to protect four properties, totaling 68 acres, in Ebey’s Reserve.

“Coupeville is our heritage, our memories, our life,” Jan said. “Protecting our family farmlands has been our highest priority for our love of the past and the future. Dad grew up when a lot of the early settlers and Chief Charlie Snakelum were still here. Dad was a storyteller, so we felt like we knew them, and we did know a lot of them in their old age. They had a great love for Coupeville and Ken and I both want always to honor their lives and what they left to us.”