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Public Health Construction Updates •  Newsletters

August 18, 2020

The Ecology of Immunity

By Westgarden Steward Jules LeDrew

Ecology is defined by the relationships among organisms, with one another and with their physical surroundings. If we view the immune system from an ecological perspective, we can see it as one of the primary means, along with the nervous and endocrine systems, by which we relate to the external world: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and naturally. Read More →

Knowing Our Kin | July Newsletter

Knowing Moss

Our friend Larry Daloz recounts a time when he explored the Whidbey Institute woods with ecofeminist scholar Joanna Macy. As I recall the story, Larry—who possesses an extensive knowledge of moss—said something to Joanna about his admiration of it. With her hand, she pushed his face into the plush green carpet and held it there. “Now you know moss,” she said. Read More →

July 15, 2020

COVID-19 & Reopening Update

Our team has been working to incorporate guidelines from public health officials and Governor Jay Inslee in order to reopen safely. Now that Island County is in Phase 3 of reopening, we are approved to host so long as strict health and safety measures are in place. To keep volunteers, participants, and team members safe, we’re taking these and other measures:

  • Requiring cloth face-coverings in shared indoor spaces
  • Requiring 6′ physical distancing between guests
  • Limiting program lodging to single occupancy, except for members of a household
  • Providing hand sanitization stations throughout campus and posting signage to encourage good hygiene
  • Limiting group numbers to ensure adequate space for physical distancing
  • Adopting stringent housekeeping protocols and frequencies
  • Limiting group sizes to ensure capacity for physically-distanced gathering and dining

Read More →

Langley, Washington by Frank Schulenburg Creative Commons

July 13, 2020

Langley WA Stands for Racial Justice

Langley WA Stands for Racial Justice: An update from Whidbey Island Social Justice Solidarity Net [That] Works (SJS)

City Council Passes Resolution that Advocates Hope will Inspire Other Small Towns 

Langley, WA—At its meeting on Monday, July 6, the small Whidbey Island town of Langley, Washington’s City Council unanimously passed a racial justice resolution. The “Commitment to Dismantling Systemic Racism” orients the town’s elected leaders toward a world in which Black Lives Matter, and small towns and big cities alike create space for the racially just world so many are calling for today.

Read More →

July 8, 2020

Moving Beyond Hashtags

Moving Beyond Hashtags: When #Blacklivesmatter Stops Trending on Social Media

by Christina Malecka

As someone passionate about tech-life balance and off-screen wellbeing,  I have a love/hate relationship with social media.

Yet, over the past month I have learned so much from thinkers like Nicole PearsonSonya Renee Taylor, and Ijeoma Oluo who have challenged me to more deeply interrogate systemic racism and my responsibility to dismantle it. Read More →

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 →