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