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September 6, 2017

The Power of This Place | August 2017 Newsletter

A New Intimacy with the Environment: Excerpt from a 1999 Whidbey Institute newsletter

“Five years ago, the plan for the Institute described buildings that would reflect ‘a new intimacy with the environment.’ At the time, alders grew on the hillside where the new buildings now stand. Transformed into floorboards for the hall, those very alders now lie beneath rafters cut and milled from timber salvaged by a nearby sawmill. Much of the wood used in the new buildings was cut from the land itself and skidded to a portable sawmill by horses. . . . From sill to ridge, the buildings designed by Ross Chapin and built by Greg Gilles and his crew reflect the power of this place.”—Earth, Spirit, and the Human Future, Spring 1999.

Today, like in the late 1990s, we are clearing alders and growing our physical facilities, along with our capacity as a home for transformational learning, open-hearted inquiry, and generative collaboration. In our current phase of capacity-building, with the addition of Meadow Row North (Ross Chapin Architects / Jade Craftsman Construction) and three Live Edge Cabins (Live Edge Woodworks) we continue in a spirit of intimacy with the environment and gratitude for those who make the Whidbey Institute an organization worthy of our ongoing and collective care.

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Also in this issue:

Commissioner Helen Price Johnson on Meadow Row North Groundbreaking (“A TRANSFORMATIONAL PLACE IN MY OWN BACKYARD”).

Welcoming Erik Isaacson to the Team

Whidbey Island Waldorf School Tours Available

“A transformational place in my own backyard”

“A transformational place in my own backyard”

Commissioner Helen Price Johnson on Meadow Row North Groundbreaking

Click to expand

July 28, 2017

Picnics and Potlucks and Easements, Oh My! | July Newsletter

Celebration, Anticipation for Meadow Row North and Live Edge Cabins

At a July 22 Groundbreaking Community Picnic, we broke ground for Meadow Row North with a brief ceremony and a day of games, music, fun in the sun, and exploration of the building site. We’d like to thank photographers Michael Foley and David Stern, sponsors Pink Parasol Productions, Fine Balance Imaging, and Pure Indulgence, musicians Talia Marcus and Give Back Brass Band, and all our volunteers for making the day a success!

Four cabins are being constructed in the Maxwelton Valley by Kim Hoelting of Live Edge Woodworks, while Meadow Row North, designed by Ross Chapin Architects, is being constructed in Bayview by Jade Craftsman Builders. Installation onsite this winter means expanded program lodging expansion will be up and running in early 2018. We can’t wait to see the benefits of this added capacity for our program partners and participants.

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Also in this issue: 

How to Build Bridges During Polarized Times by Mark Forman for Whidbey Life Magazine

Conservation Futures Funding to Help Protect Whidbey Institute Land in Perpetuity

Volunteer Week, Site and Facilities Work Coincide

Pint With a Cause Funds SW Non-Profit Program

Community, Deep and True: Potluck Picnic with Aldermarsh and Organic Farm School



June 22, 2017

Breaking Ground | June 2017 Newsletter

In this issue, find news about Meadow Row North Groundbreaking, development plans at 23rd & Union, Waldorf Potlatch, Thursdays in the Westgarden, our new Art Barn roof, and more!

Click here to view the entire issue and read on. 

May 15, 2017

Big Love | May 2017 Newsletter

You showed us BIG love during Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG on Wednesday. Our community of 225 donors, including 61 new donors, gave $50,048. Combined with $40,000 from two matching grant donors, we are looking at a record-breaking $90,048! This is an essential step for our WI2020 capacity-building campaign as we raise $4.5 million over four years to better serve a growing community.

We especially enjoyed the loving words we received from donors throughout the day. Here are just a few comments that touched our hearts:

“My time at the Whidbey Institute enriched my life beyond explanation. The people and the land combined to enlighten both my mind and soul and I am eternally grateful.”

“There is an abundance of need for us to come together for collaborative inquiry in these turbulent times. The enlivening and contemplative space for learning and connection to earth and others at the Whidbey Institute gives me hope.”

“There is a saying, ‘You can’t choose your family,’ but I was raised to know this is not true. The folks at Whidbey Institute are my neighbors, my friends, my family, and my spiritual home.”

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May 12, 2017

Landscape & Facilities Assistant Position Available

Posted May 12, 2017.

Click here for the full job description and application instructions.

The Landscape and Facilities Assistant will fill a 10-hour per week position (now through November) and will be responsible for assisting with land and facilities needs at the Whidbey Institute, a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit with 3.5 miles of public trails on 100+ acres, event facilities, and several landscaped and gardened acres.

Work may include weeding, weed whacking, mowing, trail work, landscape gardening, use of chainsaw, splitting wood, basic facilities and road maintenance, construction assistance, garden assistance, event setup, and general on-site assistance.

A consistent schedule is preferred with some flexibility if need arises on other days. Experience working with landscapes, gardens, and basic construction as well as with hand and power tools is preferred, but work ethic and a learning mindset are the priorities.

View required qualifications and more details here.

From Our Community

These resources are offered by Senior Fellows of the Whidbey Institute or other close members of our community, and are not produced by the Whidbey Institute.

Photo © Tim Snell

Conversations with the curious, compassionate, and courageous co-creators of our desired and emerging future, inspired in part by encounters and inquiries at the Whidbey Institute.

On iTunes On Soundcloud

Walking through nature with a neuroscientist who loves plants and ponders big questions.

Nature’s Depths


Leadership Can Be Taught  “A doorway into the classroom of Harvard’s leadership virtuoso Ronald Heifetz and his colleagues—and an approach to adaptive leadership that responds to the challenges of our more complex and changing world.”

Common Fire  “Revealing how we become committed, and sustain our commitment, to the common good in the face of moral ambiguity, daunting complexity, and frequent discouragement.”

Big Questions, Worthy Dreams  “How mentors and mentoring environments will play a vital role in the potential transformations of thinking, feeling, and networks of belonging that are harbored within emerging adults.”

Mentor  “A practical, engaging exploration of mentoring in adult higher education and its power to transform learning.”

Leadership for the New Commons