Forever Protected: 106-Acre Conservation Easement Finalized

On November 29, 2018, a longstanding dream came true with the establishment of an expanded, comprehensive conservation easement at the Whidbey Institute. We owe a debt of gratitude to Board Chair Kate Snider, the staff and board of the Whidbey Institute and Whidbey Camano Land Trust, the Island County Commissioners, attorney and neighbor Doug Kelly, and many other neighbors and friends who brought this project to completion.

“I’m excited that the conservation easement at Whidbey Institute protects vital habitat located in the salmon-bearing Maxwelton Creek watershed while ensuring future generations have important trail access to this valuable forested area.”

—Helen Price Johnson

The easement was made possible by an Island County Conservation Futures Fund grant and a sizable donation of land value from the Whidbey Institute. It provides permanent protection for 106 acres of forest and wetland, including critical habitat and the headwaters of two creeks feeding the Maxwelton Creek watershed.

“I’m excited that the conservation easement at Whidbey Institute protects vital habitat located in the salmon-bearing Maxwelton Creek watershed while ensuring future generations have important trail access to this valuable forested area,” said Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson.

In addition to protecting wild spaces and vital habitat, the easement safeguards more than four miles of public-access trails.

Building envelopes have been defined to allow for continued Whidbey Island Waldorf School activities, the completion of our Whidbey Institute 2020 work in the Heartland, and the creation of a full-service Storyhouse Youth Campus in Legacy Forest plus discrete future additions in defined areas. Otherwise, the easement guarantees permanent protection and sensitive stewardship of wild spaces.

We’re proud of the commitment to generative interrelationship with nature that this conservation easement represents, and see it as a continuation of the Whidbey Institute’s 45-year service to Earth, Spirit, and the Human Future. We thank the many partners who made this long-held dream come true.

December 19, 2018

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