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Public Health Construction Updates •  Newsletters

Rose Medicine

This article by Westgarden Steward Jules LeDrew introduces rose medicine: Flower and Hips. Harvest is early June through Summer Solstice and fall.

This time of year most plants show their full identities and character through their unique and colorful displays of flowers. You will find our native wild rose, Nootka Rose, on beaches and holding up hillsides in sandier soils across the PNW. While she may be less eye popping with smaller light pink flowers, her medicine can be as significant as some of the most prized roses in the world. These include the Damask rose, at home in our own Westgarden. Rosa Damascena is native to the Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria, which is also the heart of the rose essential oil industry trade. Records of its huge popularity go back to the Ottoman Empire. Rose medicinal use stems from many cultures, including ancient Greece, and dates back thousands of years. Read More →

The Journey from Head to Heart

On Wednesday, June 3 we launched an Open Zoom series. These lightly facilitated, social calls are open to all and run from 10 am to 11 am weekly.

Three folks attended our first Zoom call, and conversation focused primarily on racism. As white people we discussed how to overcome our own internalized white privilege, how to help other white folks be less harmful, and how to be authentic, repair, and heal. We talked about the role of trauma as a root cause of so much violence, and we talked about the death of the illusion of individuality and the myth of American exceptionalism.

A quote from the call:

“We need to make the journey from head to heart.”
—M.F.

A resource mentioned during the call: The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture

Read More →

Black Lives Matter: A Call for Transformation

As representatives of a predominantly white-led organization, we at the Whidbey Institute are wrestling with our responsibility after watching a man murdered—George Floyd, a father and beloved son and the victim of yet another cruel, racialized crime. Our hearts are broken and our sleeves are rolled up. There is hard, vital work underway—the work of coming home to a deeper and better part of ourselves.

We wake again this morning to a nation roiling with the pain of 400 years of structural, institutionalized violence against people with black and brown bodies. A nation founded on the genocide of indigenous people and built by the labor of enslaved Africans. If we are to heal and manifest collective liberation, our systems and institutions must be undone and remade. Our minds and hearts must be undone and remade.

Read More →

Re-Membering | June Newsletter

“How is it possible to blossom, fully into me, when there are parts of me that are not allowed to be known? To be realized? . . . . how does [one] re-member herself, through truth songs of the past, present, and future? Can I be whole again?” ― From Scars, a novel by Dr. A. Breeze Harper

In this issue: Black Lives Matter—a Call for Transformation. United Student Leaders Call to Action. Welcoming Board Member Dani Turk. Thanking Frank and Nico. Introducing Leadership Whidbey. Click here to view the issue.

Welcoming Board Member Dani Turk

We recently welcomed non-profit professional, frequent volunteer, and inspiring collaborator Dani Turk to the Whidbey Institute Board of Directors. This week, Dani and I connected about her background, her interest in serving, and what she sees as possible in partnership with the Whidbey Institute team and community. Here’s that conversation. —Marnie Jackson Read More →

May 6, 2020

Why Cathy Gives

Cathy Buller (pictured at left) is volunteering to crunch numbers and run data for the Whidbey Institute this week during the 48-hour fundraising marathon that is GiveBIG. Yesterday, I asked her why she’s willing to put so much time and energy in for us. This was her answer. Read More →