Whidbey Institute 2020

What a party!

We loved celebrating with you at the Meadow Row North Community Groundbreaking Picnic on July 22. View photos from the event here!

A Plan for the Future

Whidbey Institute 2020 (WI2020) is a vision of a sustainable Institute. Together, we’re creating a home for more transformational learning by scaling our facilities up to meet the needs of the individuals and organizations we serve. WI2020 means creating capacity for ongoing, life-serving work.

Focus Areas • Phasing & Objectives • Donate

News flash! Construction of Meadow Row North began offsite in July 2017. Read the press release.

WI 2020—A film by Mark Forman

A Multi-Year Project with Three Focus Areas

Legacy Forest Acquisition

Aggregates our 100 acre campus and updates conservation easements throughout.

Heartland Improvements

Scales our main campus facilities up to meet current and near-future demand.

Storyhouse and Youth Campus Upgrades

Supports youth and young adult camps and provides space to prototype new programs.

Legacy Forest Acquisition

“There’s a deep thread of community that makes this place tick and still anchors this place. This land is surrounded—literally, surrounded—by people who came here to be part of this organization, and to continue their love of this land and this place.”

—Robert Mellinger, Land Steward

“Formal inclusion of Legacy Forest as part of the Whidbey Institute guarantees access for future generations to precious and much-loved places, improves our ability as an organization to serve our constituency, and honors the heart and soul of the forest as well as the restorative programmatic work that takes place here.”

—Gabriel Shirley, former board member

Acquisition of 30-Acre Legacy Forest

In November 2015, we entered into a purchase agreement for 30 acres near Storyhouse from founders Fritz and Vivienne Hull. Focus area 1 completes payment for this purchase of this community resource and updates conservation easements across our 100 acre campus—protecting the beloved whole of the Chinook Land. 

The Legacy Forest acquisition aggregates our Clinton campus, including an educational campus and walking trails; creates space for the Institute to welcome more inclusive, cost-accessible youth and social artistry programming; and supports a next generation of leaders through ongoing partnerships with organizations that use the space, including Calyx School, PYE Global, Power of Hope, and the Hull’s Spirit of Legacy program.

Heartland Improvements

“We all know how crazy our world is becoming, and at the same time how critical we are in the tipping points. Many of us know it. Many of us feel it. And there are places where the key work can come together.”

—Ross Chapin, architect

Focus Area 2 increases Heartland-area lodging by 24 guest beds, adds support facilities, and meets the growing needs of current Institute program partners.

These capital investments will create an additional earned income stream, enabling the Institute to move beyond its current reliance on donations to support basic operations and channel donation income into program and scholarship support.

Early architectural design drafts courtesy Ross Chapin Architects


Youth Campus Improvements

“How can we live in a way that will really help create a better future—not just for ourselves, but for our young ones and for those coming after?”

—Vivienne Hull, Founder

Focus Area 3, in Legacy Forest’s Youth Campus near Storyhouse, will support sustainable use by youth and young adult camps and provide space to prototype new programs. Additions will include a bathhouse, commercial kitchen, three-season camping platforms, and caretaker’s cottage. Improvements to the infrastructure, including septic and restroom upgrades, will make Storyhouse a more comfortable community gathering space for local businesses, non-profits, and conversation groups.



Project Phasing and Objectives

Phase 1: Raising $1.2 Million in 2017


Heartland Campus & Operational Support goals include:

  • Providing home for 11—16 new program participants
  • Creating wheelchair-accessible lodging spaces with support facilities
  • Increasing comfort in existing lodging facilities.

What’s included and what it makes possible:

  • Cabin village area site prep and utilities, laundry expansion, Thomas Berry septic upgrades
  • Meadow Row North (6 single rooms, 2 ADA accessible double rooms, 4 bathrooms) will generate approximately $110,000 annual income upon completion
  • Live Edge cabins (3 double rooms) will generate approximately $40,000 annual income upon completion
  • Repurposing of Bagend Cabin as a gathering space for short term use by program participantss
  • Upgrades to Granny’s, a residential lodging space
  • $290,000 in operating support

Youth Campus and Legacy Forest goals include:

  • Legacy Forest acquisition and protection
  • Increasing Storyhouse useability by community
  • Youth Campus planning and design

What’s included and what it makes possible:

  • Legacy Forest acquisition and payment
  • Establishment of comprehensive conservation easement throughout 100+ acre campus
  • Construction of bathroom facilities at Storyhouse
  • Collaborating with youth program leaders to design comfortable, engaging facilities
  • Funding research for for grant support

Building will be strategically staged to occur as funds are raised, bringing earned capital back to the Institute on the shortest timeline possible. To accomplish this, we will partner with allies in green building design, peer networks, individual donors, and corporate and foundation supporters.

Main campus buildout goals include:

  • 24 additional beds (some ADA accessible), primarily configured as private rooms
  • Individual and shared bathrooms
  • Laundry/support facilities
  • Refurbishment of existing residential lodging facilities, including renovations to “Granny’s”
  • A gathering space in the Cabin Village area, to support breakout groups
  • A kitchen facility for small groups and campers

Youth Campus buildout goals include:

  • A bathhouse
  • A commercial kitchen
  • Three season camping platforms
  • A caretaker’s cottage
  • Septic and restroom upgrades to support Storyhouse as a community gathering space

Underlying building goals and principles include:

  • Serving as a living lab for regenerative design
  • An aesthetic informed by the natural beauty of our northwest island
  • Using materials that meet the standards of the Living Buildings Challenge
  • Energy and water use strategies that provide a foundation for the Whidbey Institute to transition to self-sufficiency onsite
  • Facility siting decisions that support real use patterns of the Institute, while also integrating with and respecting the forest ecosystem

Each new bed added to the main campus lodging can generate $12,000–$15,000 in annual income. Revenue from the additional housing frees up future contributions to be dedicated to scholarships, new program development, and further site improvements. This buildout makes financial as well as programmatic sense, and will provide long-term support for the Whidbey Institute’s land, facilities, and mission.

photo CC/by-sa/2.0, Isa via Flickr