Board Members’ Lasting Impact

trees to plant in honor of retired board

Sound Water Stewards is a strong organization today because of the board members who donated countless hours in science, stewardship education and Board Leadership that, year after year, has moved the organization forward.

Torrey and John Green at Silliman Preserve on Whidbey

The Class of 2021 Tree Stewardship Pod recently completed tree plantings in honor of Sound Water Stewards’ retired board members. Pod members, Joan Green, Kelvin Jenkins, Britt McKenzie, and Ellen Nelson, responded to a request from the current board to honor retired SWS board members by planting trees. 

During their 2021 training, the pod (a subgroup of SWS Class of 2021) researched, designed and implemented the program. Initially, finding locations to plant the trees proved to be challenging. However, the pod quickly determined that networking with SWS partner organizations opened up many doors and strengthened the partnerships. 

Ellen Nelson connected with leadership at Whidbey Camano Land Trust (WCLT) who provided planting space at their Silliman Preserve. Their Stewardship Team member, Tayler Schmuki, even led the tree planting on-site as well. SWS board member, Lee Badovinus, donated the trees for this planting. On Sunday, February 27, 2022, eight Douglas Firs were planted in honor of the eight Whidbey Island retired board members. Maintenance will require some more visits to check on the trees. At Silliman Preserve, WCLT will continue to water during the 2022 growing season. After that, SWS will likely continue to weed and water the trees.

Whidbey Tree Team 2-2022
Whidbey Tree Team: Joan Green, Lee Badovinus, WCLT lead Taylor Schmuki and her toddler tree planter, Ellen Nelson, Torrey Green and Kelvin Jenkins at Silliman Preserve

Retired Whidbey Board Members:
Jay Adams
Ann Baum (2017-18)
Lois Farrington (2016-17)
Bob Gentz (2016-20)
PaulBen McElwain (2018-19)
Sue Salveson (2017-21)
Thomas Vos (2016-17)
Rich Yukubousky (2017-19)

Retired Camano Board Members:
Dave Brubaker
Joe Cunningham (2021-21)
Trent Lowe (2020-21)
John Mathis (2017-19)
Kathy McNally (2019-21)
Amnon Schoenfeld (2016-18)
Bob Tushinski (2018-20)
Kate (Ambrus) Vagner (2016-17)

Of note, lists above do not include years or names for volunteers who served on the Beach Watchers Advisory Committee, BWAC, in the years prior to the official formation of SWS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in January 2016.

Two of the honored Camano Board Members, Kathy McNally and Bob Tushinski

For the Camano Island planting, Joan Green, Class of 2021, worked with Joan Schrammeck, Camano Coordinator, to connect with Freedom Park. Joan S. recruited arborist Sal Noeldner of Puget Sound Tree Care to determine the best trees and best location within the Park. On Saturday, March 12, 2022 a team of 14 Stewards planted seven Shore Pines and one Douglas Fir in honor of the eight retired Camano Island board members.

Pictured here, Kathy McNally and Bob Tushinski, who helped plant their own trees. 

Camano SWS will water the trees weekly. This is no easy task as there is no water on-site at this beloved park that was built by the community. SWS volunteers bring gallon size containers of water from home or fill them at a nearby business that offered to donate water. So far, the trees are doing great. If you’d like to volunteer to water the Camano Island trees for a week, please see this SignUpGenius.

Thank you to all who donated time or advice to get these trees into the ground!

Camano tree planting on 3-12-2022: back row: Christa, Wendi, Louie, Torrey, Gaylen, Joan G, Bob, Pat, Tony; front row: Joan S, Kathy, Dan, Diana

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