Safeguarding a Watershed and a Wonderland

Author: Jessica | 12/07/18

Whidbey Institute forest

Sun peeks through the forest at the Whidbey Institute on South Whidbey. Photo by Thomas Arthur.

Thank you! Your support recently protected a truly special 100-acre landscape on South Whidbey owned by the Whidbey Institute. A dramatically expanded conservation easement added 41 acres and increased forest and wetland protection eight-fold!

The enhanced protection safeguards the headwaters of the Maxwelton Creek watershed. It includes healthy mature forest, flourishing wetlands, steep slopes, and an important water recharge area. And, it guarantees the public has access to four miles of delightful trails.

Funding was from an Island County Conservation Futures Fund grant. This was more than matched by a significant donation of land value from the Whidbey Institute.

“I’m excited that the conservation easement at Whidbey Institute protects vital habitat located in the salmon-bearing Maxwelton Creek watershed while ensuring future generations have important trail access to this valuable forested area,” Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson said. “This is exactly the type of multi-benefit project our local resources should be supporting.”

To prevent sprawl and protect the property’s conservation values, existing and new structures are confined to “building envelopes.” The rest of the area will remain natural for wildlife and people.

The Whidbey Institute is a non-profit educational organization. It hosts year-round workshops, retreats, and conferences for people of all ages and backgrounds on its property. It’s also home to the Whidbey Island Waldorf School. There, young students spend a lot of time learning in the out-of-doors, helping to form strong connections with nature.


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