It has been a very busy spring and we have been met with many challenges and many blessings.Last month, we found out that three of our grants with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have been approved. All these grants relate to conserving and studying the prairie. Grants cannot cover all our costs and needs for saving the prairie, but the are certainly an important piece. Support from individuals allows us to continue the work between grant projects, apply for new grants, and sustain our work year round.In other exciting news, Pacific Rim Institute is months away from finally purchasing our property from the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. We have been leasing and managing the property for four years now and Au Sable has been very generous in giving us time to come up with funds needed to purchase the property.
Several donors have already stepped forward to pay for the actual transaction costs for the land (which Au Sable is giving us an extremely generous price for - since they want to see the land protected as much as we do). We still have approximately $300,000 to raise within the next year. Any support that you can provide will be a great help!Next week, we are hosting a Prairie Open House. Last year we had over 100 people come and take tours of our native prairie. This year, I hope to see 150 people come through. Naturalists will take visitors off the trail and into our special research and restoration areas that are typically off limits to the public. Once a year, we provide this opportunity so people can get up close and personal with the work being done.If you live on or near Whidbey Island, we hope you will join us for a tour! You can find more information on our website.
Thank you again for supporting our efforts to save prairie in the Pacific Northwest!
I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to your year.
I have some exciting news to share. Within the next few weeks, our Habitat Management Plan will be completed and published. We have been developing this document for over a year and to have it almost complete is a great feeling.
This plan will guide all our work on the prairie for at least the next five years. It documents the priority areas on our 175 acres, what the next steps are for those areas, and what resources we need to accomplish our goals in each area.
For example, this plan will include a detailed chart that shows which native seeds and how much of each seed we would need in order to re-plant one acre of prairie. With this type of information documented and laid out, we will be able to more effectively and efficiently restore native prairie to our Whidbey property.
We have received input from over 12 experts in related fields on this plan. Many thanks go to the writers, Seth Luginbill (PRI Land Steward), Robert K. Pelant (PRI CEO), Randy Van Dragt (PRI Board Chair and Restoration Ecologist), and Peter Dunwiddie (Prairie Restoration Expert and Consultant).
Thank you so much to all of you for your support of this rare native habitat. Did you know that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has said that the prairie ecosystem is the FASTEST disappearing ecosystem in Washington State? Your funds are directly helping to reverse this.
We will make our plan available electronically to anyone who is interested, so please let me know if you would like to see a copy when they are finished.
You are receiving this update because at some point in the last year or so you have generously donated funds to the Pacific Rim Institute so we can protect and restore native northwest prairie.
I wanted to share with you some very exciting news. Recently, a donor stepped forth to fund necessary improvements and additions to our Native Plant Center. Their $12,000 gift will allow us to make necessary repairs and improvements to our greenhouse. Funds will ALSO allow us to build a much-needed shade house.
If we are to meet our current goal to increase our prairie remnant from 5 acres to 12 acres by the end of 2014, we are going to need a lot of seed and a lot of plants - and more space to grow and keep them. These improvements to our native plant center will increase our capacity to grow-out native plants which are then planted back into the prairie.
Currently, all our native plant seed is collected right off our own prairie, or off nearby prairie that landowners let us collect from. We then store this seed till we are ready to plant and grow it in our greenhouse. When the plants have had a good start, we then transfer them either to our propagation beds or straight back into the prairie. Plants can also be sold to other conservation groups.
Your gifts have allowed us to continue this exciting work - and the growing support helps us inspire other larger donors to give as well. Thank you!
If you live near Whidbey Island, we are going to be having a big event on September 15, 2012. Our 3rd Annual Whidbey Raptor Day will be in partnership with the Whidbey Farm Tour, this year. Please be our guest and learn more about hunters of the air, prairie restoration, and farms of Whidbey Island.
Until Next Time,
The Golden paintbrush once brightened summer on coastal prairies from Oregon to British Columbia but now is confined to 11 small populations, four of which occur on Whidbey Island. Federally listed as a “threatened” species, its recovery plan calls for establishing 20 self-sustaining populations of 1,000 plants each. The Pacific Rim Institute has received Federal and other funding to establish one such population on our prairie. As the attached graph indicates, this beautiful piece of cultural and ecological heritage is finding great success on our prairie. According to Dr. Peter Dunwiddie, the lead conservationist on the Golden paintbrush efforts in the Puget Sound region, “the paintbrush on Smith Prairie continue to expand, making it the first time in this region that a new, self-sustaining population of a federally-listed plant has been successfully established in a site where it had not previously been known to occur.” He also noted at a biodiversity conference in Seattle that PRI’s efforts have created the most successful recovery site of all for three consecutive years.
Thank you so much for your support of the Pacific Rim Institute prairie on Whidbey Island. When you support our prairie, you are also supporting prairie restoration all around the Puget Sound.
If you would like to get more involved - or if you would like to receive our monthly email newsletters, visit our website
Hello Everyone! Thank you so much for all your gifts over the holiday season. What a huge blessing!
In the next few weeks, with the help of volunteers, we are going to be planting 10,000 native plants into our prairie remnant. Several weeks ago, volunteers helped us plant the seeds in the greenhouse. We are looking forward to getting them in the ground!
If anyone lives near Whidbey Island and would be interested in helping with the planting, give us a call!
We will be planting on February 25 and March 10. We especially need help in March.
Thank you again for all your support toward Northwest prairie restoration!!
p.s. the photo attached is from a small burn we did last week on our native plant beds.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.