The Change to Come

On Friday morning, the Whidbey Institute staff and board awoke to this photo in our email inboxes, along with this tender note from our colleague Thomas, Resident Caretaker:

I’m sitting here in this sweet, tiny, temporary home at 4 am listening to a steady rain pouring down. As far as I know I am the only human on the land in this moment. Goodness, I am wide awake.

On Sunday the machines arrive to assist in the next phase of our transformation. It’s truly happening: this growth, vital to our development, in service to the coming generations seeking resources, connection, nourishment, and resolve. Growth that will allow us to help evolve a wiser and more loving culture. We are doing this thing together.

We enter the coming flow in a spirit of goodwill, with prayers for the trees, plants, animals, birds, and subtle energies of place. May we all be safe and patient in the disruption. I’m celebrating the vision and courage, rising through several decades, that are bringing forth this next unfolding. What a blessing to be in this journey with you all.

We’re doing this together. You—the thousands of you who read these newsletters, visit this land, attend these programs, and contribute to this capacity-building—have made this possible. Your talents, your gifts, your participation, your friendship, your counsel, your wisdom and your longings have brought us to this threshold. As we step forward into the big work ahead, we say a profound and heartfelt thank you.

What’s coming to the land

Thanks to the generous support of our community, Cabin Village Commons construction is fully funded and we break ground soon! This construction project will be carefully phased to minimize disruption to program leaders and participants, resulting in a gathering space that will dramatically increase our ability to host transformative work as early as Spring 2021.

Our new Caretaker Cabin is partially funded and site preparation is about to begin. By preparing the sites for both the Commons and Caretaker Cabin simultaneously, we can save on costs, keep more calendar dates open for programming, and minimize disruption to the forest and its inhabitants. We are eager to provide our caretaker with a safe, warm home where he can continue to provide extraordinary, round-the-clock care for people and place. Please consider making a donation to help us fully fund this work.


Recent steps

The team’s already been hard at work getting ready for the construction ahead!


Next steps

Upcoming site work includes:


Looking to the future

The year ahead will include ongoing work, phased to minimize impact on forest and programming. We’ll do our best to keep you updated about how the work’s progressing, as well as share photos, stories, and profiles of some of the talented designers and builders who are turning our visions into reality. Watch this blog for regular updates.

If you have questions about what’s changing, please reach out to [email protected] or 360-341-1884.

With gratitude and excitement,
The Whidbey Institute team



Above, Garbanzo is being removed and its materials carefully salvaged to make way for the Cabin Village Commons. This location, with its utility access, is an ideal home for the new gathering space.


Above, staff member Meg Gluckman looks at the site for the future Caretaker Cabin between the fire circle and the Sanctuary with views of the lower parking lot and Cabin Village.

February 8, 2020

Construction Updates


  1. Ulrich Semrau says:

    The new plans look great. It has been some time since I was able to visit the land. I began visiting and participating over 40 years ago. I have always had a love for the place and the programs. Best wishes to you all.

    1. Whidbey Institute says:

      Thanks for writing in, Ulrich! Please come see the land again when you can!