Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship

PRI promotes the idea that humans, individually and collectively, are stewards, or caretakers, of this Earth, and that as stewards we have the call and responsibility to maintain our home on behalf of others.
Jul 22, 2015

Golden paintbrush comeback continues!

Golden paintbrush recovery area 5.15
Golden paintbrush recovery area 5.15

Hello Everyone,

I have more great news to share regarding our Golden paintbrush recovery on Whidbey Island! Our summer count of flowering plants found over 14,000 plants, making our population the largest recovery population in Washington. Golden paintbrush is well on its way to full recovery here, and it's enhancing our overall prairie restoration efforts! We'll do a full evalution next year to determine the status of the Golden paintbrush population and next steps to ensure its long-term success. 

We are also using funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to continue to improve and increase our population, as well as several populations around the Puget Sound.  We are grateful that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife trusts us with government funds, and we hope you will continue to trust us with your support as well. There is still much to be done!

Best,

Jennifer

p.s. If you live in Western Washington, we are holding our Annual Whidbey Raptor Day event.  September 19, from 1pm - 3pm.  Get up close an personal with these beautiful hunters of the air.  There are many, many other wonderful events happening on Whidbey Island that same weekend, so a trip over would be well worth it! (Kite Festival, Tour de Whidbey race, Whidbey Island Farm Tour, and more).

Counting Golden paintbrush
Counting Golden paintbrush

Links:

Apr 24, 2015

New Fencing To Protect Endangered Plants

Golden paintbrush
Golden paintbrush

Over the past few weeks, we have been installing a new fence around our most precious areas of prairie. Fencing is necessary to keep the deer from eating our endangered Golden paintbrush and other prairie plants. When the plants are too heavily browsed, few of them are able to reach the seed stage and further populate the prairie. Our Golden paintbrush numbers went from a record 12,250 plants in 2012 down to 9,106 in 2013 and 5,291 plants in 2014. We have determined that this decline is largely due to over browsing by deer.

Eventually, we hope to restore the prairie to a robust level that will allow it to sustain the impact of herbivores.  Until then, we must resort to fencing.
We will be counting the Golden paintbrush in June and hope to see our numbers begin to increase. We will keep you posted!

If you would like to see the Golden paintbrush and other native plants while they are in bloom, come and see us in May! Our Prairie Open House is scheduled for May 7-9, 2015. Visit our website for the schedule of free, daily naturalist tours and other events. You can also schedule a free private tour anytime. If you find yourself in the Whidbey area, don't hesitate to give us a call.

Thank you for all your financial support. Prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest and and your support is directly increasing the heath and size of prairie on Whidbey Island and beyond.

Links:

Dec 22, 2014

Pacific Rim Institute purchases 175 acre campus!

Aerial shot of part of our campus taken in 2007
Aerial shot of part of our campus taken in 2007

After lengthy negotiations and a large fundraising campaign, The Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship purchased 175 acres on Central Whidbey Island from the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. This campus, a gateway to the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, is composed of forest, rare prairie, abandoned agricultural fields and educational facilities. The Pacific Rim Institute has been managing the property since 2009 with the intention of purchasing it from Au Sable. With the help of generous contributions of many individual donors, a no-interest loan and a discount on the selling price from the Au Sable Institute, the purchase was completed on December 15, 2014.

The Au Sable Institute and the Pacific Rim Institute, with their closely aligned missions, plan to continue a strong partnership. In particular, six of Au Sable’s college courses will continue to be offered at the Pacific Rim Institute. In this program, college students travel to Whidbey from across the US and Canada to take intense, field-based ecology courses for five weeks. For more information about these courses, you can visit www.ausable.org.

Successfully purchasing this amazing campus was critical to the future of the prairie on the property.  It ensures that PRI can continue to restore and expand the prairie on site, without threat of losing the lease.  Plans are now underway to secure a conservation easement for the property that would put another layer of protection on the open space and the prairie.

Thank you again to all those that have donated this year and in previous years. Your funds are continuing to be put to work to save this beautiful place, this rare prairie and to use it as a tool to educate students of all ages.

From all of us at the Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Pacific Rim Institute Staff. Christmas 2014
Pacific Rim Institute Staff. Christmas 2014

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