Newsletters • People & Partners • Learning from the Land • Chinook Encounters
The air is cool, the nights are long, the gardens are asleep. Perhaps it is nature that inspires us to draw inward, treating January as a month for reflection and resolve. Many of us experience the new year as a time to become more fully ourselves—more committed to our heartfelt principles and healthy practices, and more fully engaged in sharing our passions, talents, and longings on behalf of what matters most to each of us.
In a changing world, how will we build and sustain resilient, equitable communities? How engaged can we be in issues that affect us and our neighbors? Together, can we counter hate with love, fear with gratitude, and complacence with hope grounded in practical action?
Help us give voice to the beloved place that is Chinook—the heart of South Whidbey, of the Salish Sea, and of Cascadia. Our experiences and our voices are no less a part of this place than the robins’ and the tree frogs’. Share your stories and help this place be heard!
The Whidbey Institute seeks accounts of your personal encounters with, or at, Chinook—from a meeting with a plant or animal, to a meeting with a friend or a memory, to a meeting with some undiscovered truth or hidden part of yourself. Submissions of prose, poetry, visual art, videography, music, and photography will be gratefully accepted. Read More →
In mid-March, staff member Madisun Stern was tasked with obtaining centerpieces for a donor event at the Whidbey Institute. She wrote this piece about her ensuing experience of community generosity:
With local floral arrangements hard to come by in March, I imagined our flower fund going towards the lush, gorgeous greens that had survived a devastating barn fire at Willowood Farm earlier this spring. My ask to Farmer Georgie for this was instantly met with refusal, and the most gracious generosity—she wouldn’t sell, but would gift us all that I asked as a donation to the Institute. Just weeks before, she’d lost her entire business, except for the produce in her fields—produce that will now adorn the tables at our event. To top it off, their farm assistant (one my dearest friends) surprised me again, going above and beyond by creating the glorious arrangements herself—a service never provided by the farm before! I was humbled to assist on finishing touches, including an adventure to find the perfect beach stones to weight the vases. Read More →
PART TIME POSITION AVAILABLE
The Volunteer Coordinator will fill a new 10-hour per week position and will be responsible for nurturing the growth of a culture of volunteerism at the Whidbey Institute, a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit. The right person for this job has a strong commitment to service, communicates well, and works well with others in both lead and support roles. Experience with event coordination is a plus.
We seek a flexible, collaborative team member who will fully engage with the Whidbey Institute staff and board, and will help us serve our mission to cultivate place, nurture community, and co-create experiences which grow our human capacity for compassionate, courageous action.
SCHEDULE & COMPENSATION
This position averages 10 hours per week, with seasonal variability. The compensation for this part time position is $18 per hour, depending on experience.
• Working with staff to identify volunteer-ready projects and needed skills, then creating and maintaining a list of appropriate routine and one time volunteer projects.
• Working with Land Steward to grow and maintain trail volunteer engagement strategy.
• Working with Communications Manager to develop outreach for volunteers.
• Sourcing and developing relationships with skilled, one-time, and repeat volunteers.
• Organizing volunteer orientations, volunteer workdays, and volunteer celebrations; overseeing the tracking of volunteer time and contributions.
• Participating in relevant staff meetings.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS & QUALITIES
• Proven ability to attract and develop a community.
• Proven ability to self-start, initiate, and build new projects.
• Excellent organizational, time management, and communications skills.
• Computer competency.
HOW TO APPLY
• Whidbey Institute is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.
• Applications received by April 10, 2017 will receive priority consideration.
• Qualified applicants are invited to email a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to Marnie Jackson, Communications Manager, at email@example.com.
Pictured: students from the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School at Edmonds Community College, volunteering at Whidbey Institute.
The Westgarden has been cultivated by a long lineage of caring stewards since the 1970s. Its newest steward, Brit Schneider, joined the Whidbey Institute staff this month, and brought with her a passion for plants and people as well as a great breadth of experience in medicinal herbs, vegetable farming, volunteer mentorship, and garden education.
Brit grew up in this area, but spent time abroad and in Northern California as a young adult. Most recently, she moved from Sacramento, California, where she engaged in farming education and outreach at Soil Born Farms and worked in urban schools teaching garden education.
Brit described working with students in gardens, pollinator habitats, outdoor classrooms, and orchards at each of four sites—exciting educational contexts for students who, for the most part, had very limited access to fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and green spaces. “One student’s mapping project revealed that within a one mile radius of school, there were two places to buy fresh fruits and vegetables and 21 liquor stores,” she explained. In these verdant spaces, Brit worked with students on topics ranging from growing food, eating, and cooking to sampling soil, assessing watersheds, and composting with worms. Read More →
We are delighted to welcome Holly Harlan as the Whidbey Institute’s Development Lead.
Holly is a mission oriented, passionate, and experienced business strategist who will bring new ideas and connections, practical experience from both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds, and tremendous heart to our development team. Read More →