Category Archives: General

Salmon Enchanted Evening This July!

Salmon Enchanted Evening

Each summer, we invite WWS donors to our biggest fundraiser of the year called Salmon Enchanted Evening. This is a private event, by invitation only. Inquire via email or add your name to our e-newsletter mailing list for an invitation to this year’s event, tentatively scheduled for SUNDAY, July 28, 2019. 

Last year’s event: Saturday, July 28, 2018 – Many thanks to our attendees and donors, whose contributions fund our education programs!

2018 Spring Matching Challenge

It’s time for a Spring Matching Challenge! 

Our important programs, including environmental education at the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom, Langley Marina, and South Whidbey Schools, are funded exclusively through community support and local grants. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to amplify your donation from now until June 1st [details below!] and be sure to spread the word!

With the arrival of spring comes a bundle of activities for the Whidbey Watershed Stewards staff, board, and volunteers. We are proud to have accomplished so much in 2018 already, including the following goals:

  • Three stewardship work parties to restore & refresh Freeland Wetland Preserve, Robinson Beach, and the Outdoor Classroom trails
  • Four interactive training days with volunteer teachers at the Outdoor Classroom preparing for our Spring classes beginning April 30th, and for the Marine Science program, which has been running regularly throughout the winter and spring
  • Eight marine science field days at Langley Marina for South Whidbey’s sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to study plankton and marine invertebrates
  • 220 healthy salmon fry released into Maxwelton Creek by South Whidbey’s fifth graders as part of the Salmon in the Classroom Program
  • A handful of Earth Day activities at Bayview’s Earth Day event, including a public presentation by Executive Director Rick Baker, plus kids’ educational activities
Help make sure our work and programming continues by participating in this year’s Spring Matching Challenge! 
Donate Now to Double Your Dollars!

An anonymous donor has offered to match all donations, dollar for dollar, received before June 1, 2018, up to $5,000! There couldn’t be a better time to support environmental education, research, and restoration. 

Remember that the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG giving campaign is Wednesday, May 9, 2018. If you donate to Whidbey Watershed Stewards through GiveBIG, that donation will also be matched by our anonymous donor! 

Your employer may also match your gifts to Whidbey Watershed Stewards. Many companies and organizations match their employees’ giving. Microsoft, Boeing, Costco, Starbucks and Google are among the many companies in our region that generously support local non-profits through their matching gift programs. In most cases, a match from your company will double the amount of your gift. 

Make the most of your employer’s matching, GiveBIG, and our anonymous donor’s matching challenge before June 1, 2018 for the biggest impact! 

Read Our December 2018 Newsletter

Click the image or link below to read our Newsletters!

Keep up with Whidbey Watershed Stewards’ important news and upcoming events by subscribing to our e-newsletter. Go to our Homepage to fill out our simple subscription form. We’ll only email you a few times per year, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

December 2018 Newsletter (In Browser) 

December 2017 Newsletter (PDF –  6MB)

Outdoor Classroom Turns 20!

In October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom! 

Twenty years ago, educators, parents, and local experts collaborated to realize the vision of the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom. What began as an idea to raise salmon in a classroom has grown to provide regular opportunities for hands on science and environmental education to K-8 students from Whidbey Island and beyond! The Classroom itself was dedicated in the Fall of 1997, and has become the vehicle to help educate more than 25,000 students since. 

Event photos by photographer and volunteer, Gordon Marvin:

For more information, please see this recent article from the South Whidbey Record. And also this article from the South Whidbey Record

Honored at Thriving Communities

The Whidbey Watershed Stewards organization was honored to be highlighted by Thriving Communities in early 2016. 

Please enjoy the wonderful video they created to tell our story.  Share it far and wide, because as Thriving Communities says, “the ripples of energy and connection of hope and action throughout our bioregion and beyond has a catalytic effect.” 

Whidbey Watershed Stewards from WhidbeyTV on Vimeo.

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Salmon Enchanted Evening: Many Thanks!

Many thanks to Ted Ravetz for an intimate Salmon Enchanted Evening at his Maxwelton Valley garden home! Music by Levi Burkle, hand crafted Midnight Kitchen hors d’oeuvres, Ott & Murphy wines, remarks by the lively Dyanne Sheldon, a delicious Janet Hall Pie Auction, and delightful guests combined for a memorable evening!




The Golden Acorn Award!

We’re very proud to announce that Whidbey Watershed Stewards’ Education Coordinator Lori O’Brien, who runs the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom, was acknowledged by the South Whidbey School District’s three Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSA) recently.

“Lori has helped raise and educate this whole school district,” said LMS PTSA President Shawn Nowlin in an email. “When we gave her the Golden Acorn Award, she was telling me about seeing the high school seniors and realizing that she has taught them from preschool at Trinity (Lutheran Church) all the way through to school graduation.”

We are so grateful to Lori for her outstanding dedication to environmental education! 

Click to read the full South Whidbey Record article

Accomplishments 2015

Salmon Enchanted Evening Invitation Highlights 2015

Smith and Minor Island Aquatic Reserve
We are facilitating a Community Science Research/Outreach Program in Whidbey Island’s own Aquatic Reserve. Funded by the Department of Natural Resources, the study investigates the effect recreational harvesting has on the largest Bull Kelp Forest in the Puget Sound.

Smolt Count
Completed Smolt Count in the Maxwelton Watershed. May is the month we set up a sluice box in the stream and collect, count, measure and release the young Coho yearlings as they begin their trek to the sea.

Freeland Wetland Preserve
WWS took full ownership of the Freeland Wetland Preserve early in 2015. Next step, work-up a comprehensive restoration/outreach plan. So far we know that restoration will inform outreach which will include lectures, guided hikes, hands-on educational experiences which will instruct the participant of the methods and science of restoration.

Wetland Wednesdays
Kicked-off our summer/fall education series, Wetland Wednesdays, at the Freeland Wetland Preserve which enriches participants’ knowledge of the science of restoration and informs them of available opportunities in the future.

Robinson Beach
Reinstated by Island County for another 3-years as stewards of the Robinson Beach County Park. We have removed most of the scot’s broom and planted shore pines. We are planning another planting later in summer, early fall.


Youth leadership
Salmon in the classroom program linked with year-long Outdoor Classroom Field studies

Professional Development
K-7 teachers through WWS Environmental Education Programs

Langley Middle School Marine Science

Six-month oceanographic time series by 6th and 7th grade students at the Langley Marina collecting oceanographic data investigating the relationship of the living and non-living elements of the ecosystem.

In the classroom 7th graders analyzed their ocean data working with visiting oceanographers from University of WA, NANOOS & Orca Network. Culminating oceanographic cruise out of Langley collecting, analyzing and interpreting data with the UW experts!

Science Day
Coordinated 23 local scientists share their expertise with K-5 students—Students’ favorite day of the year!