Guemes Land & Sea Stewards
Place is powerful and can transform humanity as much as humanity has the power to transform place. A sense of place allows us to be grounded in something larger than ourselves; something real that provides context and meaning in our lives.
This month we celebrate the “human-place connection,” specifically, the devotion to place demonstrated by the land and sea stewards on Guemes Island. These dedicated volunteers work tirelessly and commit countless hours to help maintain and protect the environment around us to ensure we can all continue to enjoy and take pride in this place we call home.
Our fast-paced, consumer-based, productivity-oriented culture can foster a disconnect from nature and from people/community. Our personal well-being is strengthened when we allow ourselves to slow down and connect with nature and those around us. Being purposeful about investing in and caring for the environment is an aspect of investing in and caring for people, as well as place. A uniquely purposeful investment is to become part of a stewardship program.
“To steward” is to care for, protect, and guide. Several local organizations offer stewardship opportunities. Their missions vary but a common theme is to connect people to nature and to each other in order to protect and preserve our environment. The following is a list of Guemes Islanders currently aligned with stewardship programs, either formally or informally.
Skagit Land Trust (Guemes properties: Anderson property, Kelly’s Point, Guemes Mountain & Valley)
- see also last month’s Featured Neighbor article
Volunteers listed below live on Guemes unless noted otherwise
- Ian Woofenden
- John Strathman
- Tony Allison
- Karen Lamphere
- Tim Alaniz
- Ralph Mendershausen
- Dave Rogers
- Phil Fenner
- Ed Gastellum - Anacortes
- Elaina Thompson – Vendovi Island
- Thyatira Thompson – Vendovi Island
San Juan Preservation Trust (Guemes properties: Peach Preserve, Guemes Mountain)
- Randy and Barbara Schnabel
- Kathy Whitman
Skagit Marine Resources (Salish Sea Stewards)
- Phyllis Bravinder
- Darla Gay Smith
- Anne Casperson
- Dixon Elder
We can all be stewards by respecting the integrity of nature and doing our part to care for the environment. Respecting and caring for our natural world ultimately serves to strengthen all elements of society. When humanity assimilates this perspective and lives accordingly, both place and people (and all living things) will thrive at their highest potential.
“The greatest threat to our environment is the belief that someone else will take care of it.” – Unknown
A HUGE thank-you to the Guemes Island stewards (past, present, formal and informal) who demonstrate their devotion to place, providing an example of how we can all help the environment (and each other) thrive!