Thoughts from the Executive Director

Appeals Letter Sent Dec 2014

Dear Friends,
It really wasn’t an explosion, there wasn’t even a bang. It was a rapid expansion of space, that is, when the universe first “banged” into existence. Whidbey Watershed Stewards is experiencing our own “bang” and we are reaching out to you to say – we need your help.

This whole “bang” issue stems from a decision the Board made to enlarge the organization’s reach, increase participant numbers, expand our school program to include middle and high school students, do more public outreach, more research. Well, it is said, be careful what you wish for. Whidbey Watershed Stewards, to its credit, has realized many of its goals. We are very excited about the new developments this past year but we are stretched to capacity and really need your support to sustain these important programs.

We recently accepted a 40-acre wetland as a donation from Friends of Freeland called the Freeland Wetland Preserve. Our goal is to restore it, finish the hiking trail, build a bird blind and use the site as an educational platform developing new outreach programs to deliver to the public. The possibilities are endless; opportunities with new partners have surfaced. Eventually we want to turn it into a park with a wetland education center. We are beyond excited about this project and we really need your help.

Our two new 6th and 7th grade oceanography programs challenge students to develop a hypothesis, design and build scientific sampling equipment, collect and process data and communicate the results back to the group. A 5-month long, student-driven research project allows young scientists to find their own answers to questions centered on the general ecologic health of the Salish Sea. This program, a partnership with the SW School District, meets all state STEM* criteria preparing students with the 21st Century skills they will need to succeed in the future. We need your help.

It has come to light recently that there is a mysterious dark energy that has been fueling the expansion of the universe. Scientists have no idea where it comes from, what it is, how it works or its purpose. This dark energy is growing, speeding up the universal expansion, to what end, no one knows. Whidbey Watershed Stewards does know its purpose and where we are going. We also know where support for our expansion will come from — You. That’s where it has always come from for the past 20 years. We have grown a lot over the years and still have dreams, lots of goals and most importantly a vision of leaving the next generation with a healthier Salish Sea. It’s important to keep the momentum going, continue these important programs that support education, restoration and research and ultimately our fragile, threatened environment. We love and appreciate having you on our team,

Rick Baker
Executive Director

* STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)