Caring for the 100 acres of Chinook is a collaboration among many: our founders, our staff, our Board, our volunteers, our donors, and our community as a whole. It’s also very clearly a collaboration with the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, with whom we partner to protect much of our land under conservation easements.
I recently had an opportunity to talk with Jessica Larson, Land Steward, about how this partnership works to serve the Land Trust, the Institute, and the community.
“Your team is really set up to get people out on the land to see the benefits of good stewardship,” Jessica said. “We always like getting people out to see (different stewardship areas).” At the Institute, this has taken the form of Mushroom Tours, hosted by the Land Trust in the fall at Chinook, and Invasive Species Eradication Workshops, which provide a service-learning opportunity on the land. “We got to remove invasives and teach the public,” Jessica said. She said that the Land Trust plans to host more events like this at Chinook.
Other ways in which the Land Trust cares for the land here include taking annual monitoring walks on the land, with staff and Board members and members of the site committee. During these walks, they work on refining our Forest Management Plan, address questions, and look for areas in need of attention. Maggie Mahle, our staff member in charge of Land Care, said that she often goes to the Land Trust staff with either questions about the forest or observations which may be of interest.
Jessica said the Chinook land is associated with one of the Land Trust’s current priority areas, and that the Land Trust is committed to stewardship of this local watershed. “In Maxwelton, we have a vested interest. We own property on Miller Lake, and try to determine which areas will be most beneficial to the watershed as a whole. It’s a priority area.”
Very recently, the Land Trust joined with the Whidbey Institute and the Good Cheer Food Bank to offer a planned giving seminar in our community, further deepening ties between our three organizations.
Click the logo at right to learn more about the Whidbey Camano Land Trust as they celebrate 30 years of protecting special places in Island County!