Presidents Message, Dec 2014
We are winding down quite a wonderful year for Whidbey Watershed Stewards, a year full of possibilities, a few changes and, as always, amazing support from our volunteers and contributors. We welcomed three new members onto the WWS Board at the beginning of the year, Cathie Vincent, Marie Bergstrom and Amy McInerney- each bringing a wealth of skills and enthusiasm to our organization. John Worthington, past-president and long-time Board Member stepped down from the Board and hopped off-Island and onto new adventures. Thank you, John, for your incredible service.
Our stewardship of Whidbey’s wild places grew this year, too. The Friends of Freeland, a wonderful group of dedicated Freelanders, entrusted WWS with the beautiful 40 acre Freeland Wetland Preserve on Newman Road. Wander on over sometime- there is parking available (thanks to Rotary for that!) and a meandering trail that takes you down to wetland where the wildlife abounds! While in the area check out our work at Robinson Beach in Freeland- over the past couple years WWS and a cadre of volunteers rid the beachfront of many non-native species, including piles of Scotch Broom. Whew.
WWS’s research efforts continue from the tip to the tail of Whidbey- with projects on Smith and Minor Island as well as all around the South End. Robin Clark, our intrepid Lead Researcher completed a tremendous restoration project in the Maxwelton Valley, turning an old farming homestead back into wild lands and giving many species of birds and beasts a new home. Toward the end of the summer Robin, too, skipped off Whidbey and is now braving Seattle’s concrete jungle. Thank you Robin, for all your incredible work and your continued guidance.
Lori O’Brien, our Lead Educator, and Rick Baker, our Executive Director, created a year-long, standards-based marine science program for Langley Middle School’s 6th and 7th grade scientists. You can read more about this program, now in its second year in a front page article published in the South Whidbey Record on November 29th, 2014. (http://www.southwhidbeyrecord.com/news/284024441.html) Additionally, the elementary school programs at the Outdoor Classroom continue to see an increase in participation, from local schools as well as a number of other Districts! Lori even has the South Whidbey Elementary School scientists raising salmon at the school that they then release into local streams in the spring.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who promotes WWS through volunteering, contributing and spreading the word about this vital organization. Thank you for your support. We could not do what we do without you!
Sarah Boin, President WWS