The night before the retreat, as I packed up my things and prepared to say goodbye to my family for the next week, it occurred to me: I actually had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had met Dan McKee a few years ago through my work in leadership development, and he had become an important mentor to me in my leadership professional life. When he suggested I might get value out of attending the retreat, my inclination was to trust him and to say yes. And yet, here I was, feeling somewhat unsure of what I had committed to and finding fear creeping in. Five days away, in a place I didn’t know, with people I didn’t know, with no real sense of what we would be doing.
As a Mom to two young children, time away feels particularly precious, and I found myself starting to wonder what I had signed myself up for. Just the week before in a check in with Dan, I felt myself squirming a little bit: things are actually going quite well in my life right now! I’m not sure I need to shake them up? Do you think it still makes sense for me to come? And his response: you’ll take what you need from the work because you want to grow. And so, I chose to trust in the mystery that lay ahead and believe that there was a reason this had come up on the path. I’m so glad I did.
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I recently had a chance to sit down with Larry Rohan, the Whidbey Institute’s new Forest Steward. Larry embodies a deep-rooted passion for the natural world, cultivated over a lifetime of exploration and study. With a BS in Forestry from Purdue University and experience with the US Forest Service and Alaska native tribes, Larry brings a wealth of knowledge to this new role at the Whidbey Institute. His work is driven by a profound understanding of the interconnectedness between forests, soil, and climate and his dedication to conservation and environmental stewardship is not only a testament to his commitment to creating a better world for future generations.
Please describe your role at the Whidbey Institute.
I am the Forest Steward at the Whidbey Institute. As far as I know, this is a new role for the organization. In the past, people have taken up bits and pieces of what I’m doing, but to my knowledge, this is the first time that the forest steward role exists.
A big part of my job is looking after the 106 acres of land, including the building envelopes, which contain the structures of the Institute and the Whidbey Island Waldorf School. Most of the forest land here is in a conservation easement managed by the Whidbey-Camano Land Trust (WCLT). The conservation easement contains specific rules as to what is allowed and what’s not allowed in the forest. Their role is to protect and enhance the conservation values of the forest, wetlands, and the diversity of native plants and wildlife.
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The Whidbey Institute is currently seeking applicants for key positions to join our team.
Click here for details.
We hope you enjoy our latest newsletter – New folks, Upcoming Programs, On the Trails, and our recent Reconnecting Event!
Click here to read the issue!
Our July Newsletter contains news about two new team members, reflections on a Cabin Village Commons gathering that took place in June, and gratitude for our monthly donors.
Click here to read the issue!
Read our May newsletter for open staff positions, a Legacy Giving informational event, and more! https://mailchi.mp/whidbeyinstitute/newsletter-1122941
Featuring a living roof installation story, introductions of three new team members, volunteer and program opportunities, and more! Click here to read the issue.
Something New in Legacy Forest: the Center for Knowing Home. Over the past several months Whidbey Institute founders Fritz and Vivienne Hull have been preparing a new project, the Center for Knowing Home, on their five acres near Storyhouse.
Read this story and more in our November newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/whidbeyinstitute/newsletter-1122849
“We talked and laughed and connected and built relationship while we worked together . . . ”
View the September 2021 Newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/whidbeyinstitute/newsletter-1122781
“If the dynamics of the Universe from the beginning shaped the course of the heavens, lighted the Sun, and formed the Earth, if this same dynamism brought forth the continents and the seas and the atmosphere, if it awakened life in the primordial cell and then brought into being the unnumbered variety of living beings, and finally brought us into being and guided us safely through the turbulent centuries, there is reason to believe that this same guiding process is precisely what has awakened in us our present understanding of ourselves and our relationship to this stupendous process. Sensitized to such guidance from the very structure and functioning of the Universe, we can have confidence in the future that awaits the human venture.”
—Thomas Berry, New Cosmologist (1987)
Click here to read the issue: https://mailchi.mp/whidbeyinstitute/newsletter-1122753