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Event Series Event Series: Monthly Member Meeting

Monthly Member Meeting

September 11, 2023 @ 10:00 am 12:00 pm

SWS Members may watch the FULL meeting recording HERE

10 am: SWS Business Meeting – reports from officers and committees (see agenda below Speaker Bios)


10:30 am: Featured Speakers – Garry Oak Ecosystem Restoration with Robert Pelant, Director, Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship and Jim Peskuric, SWS Class of 2022. Jim is President of the Island County Master Gardeners Foundation and a lead volunteer at Pacific Rim Institute in their program to restore the Garry Oak Savannah and other native species to enhance ecosystem resilience.

  • Robert Pelant – about Pacific Rim mission, the Garry Oak and prairie ecosystems
  • Jim Peskuric – volunteer work at PRI, ways Stewards can help (planting, weeding, watering), community science data collection on Garry Oak restoration

11:30 to 12:00: Breakout Rooms for Camano and Whidbey

Meeting is via Zoom. Camano is Host

Dr. Robert Pelant is the founder and CEO of the Pacific Rim Institute (PRI) on Whidbey Island, WA. It is a 175-acre site containing old Douglas fir and Pacific yew forests and one of largest and most diverse prairie remnants in the region. Prairies are seriously endangered in Washington. A veterinarian by training Robert has worked and lived most of his adult life in Asia, Latin America and Africa. His focus then was holistic development for mostly rural peoples. Since 2009 with PRI, he has combined those experiences with new practical approaches to restoring the ecosystems in which we live. PRI has been an instrumental partner to the US Fish and Wildlife Service in getting golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta) removed from the federal Endangered Species List in July 2023. Dr. Pelant obtained his BS degree in 1977 and his D.V. M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) from the University of Minnesota in 1981.

Jim Peskuric, SWS Class of 2022, retired from the aerospace industry in 2018. Aerospace paid the bills, but his real passions were in the life sciences so he decided to pursue this new path in retirement. Upon completion of his Master Gardener training in 2019 he developed a keen interest in volunteering and set out to spend his time teaching the science behind gardening, restoring native ecosystems and advocating for clean water and wildlife habitat. He is President of Island County Master Gardeners Foundation and volunteers at the Pacific Rim Institute weekly where he helps to recover northwest native prairies and Garry Oak savannahs. At home, he is working to convert his lawn into a native plant garden that provides food, water and shelter for wildlife. Jim became a Sound Water Steward in 2022 and is developing a series of classes that promote sustainable gardening practices so that we can all understand the relationship between our properties and the sea. He helped initiate SWS collaboration for “Know Your Weeds” Noxious Weed education and removal at Greenbank Farms in 2023.

Note to the Public: this is the monthly members meeting of Sound Water Stewards. We hold a business meeting before and after the Featured Speaker. The Speakers address important environmental topics from 10:30 to 11:30. You are welcome to attend.

SWS Business Meeting Agenda, 10 to 10:30 am

Camano is Host (Joan is zoom host). Gaylen Heacock, Facilitator

  • President’s Report – Paul Belanger
  • Board Retreat Report – Lee Badovinus and Jeanie McElwain (10 minutes)
  • Back to President Paul
  • Sound Waters University update – Doodle Meeting check-in: https://doodle.com/meeting/participate/id/dJQ3KVgb Tabitha
  • Stewardship Committee Report – Scott Chase, Kelly Webb
    • MyCoast App – reminder – post reports of abandoned boats, large marine debris, creosote (also: molt search, bluff erosion, storm surge, king tide) – your reports get used
    • Next Meeting – tomorrow – Sep 12, 2 to 3:30 pm
  • Summer Activities
    • Discover Iverson Spit, Discover Camano Island State Park reports – Joan (C)
    • Outdoor Discovery Day & Greenbank Farm Faire Winner announcement- Tabitha (W)
  • Molt Search – online training is HERE
  • Joan – Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities & Events – Watch this space: https://soundwaterstewards.org/volunteer-portal/volunteer-opportunities/ – Joan
    • October 14- Orca Recovery Day, volunteer for Langley and Coupeville
  • Next Meeting – Mon, October 9 – Speaker is Jason Morgan, NW Straits Fdn – hosted by Whidbey

10:30 Featured Speakers – Garry Oak Ecosystem Restoration at Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Sustainability

11:30 Breakout Room for Whidbey, Camano stay in main room

Camano Agenda, Kathy McNally, Facilitator

  • Camano 101, Living on an Island – Sat, Sep 30, 1 to 4 , set up at noon. Gaylen needs people to help with SWS table, to be greeters at the entrance/hand out programs, to bring snacks. Invite everyone you know!
  • RoundUp at Ace – month of September
  • Sound Waters University Field Trips (multiple trips varying days) to see snow geese and swans – contact Tom Hiegler to help
  • Joan seeks FB enthusiasts to help plan the November #GivingTuesday campaign
  • Camano Events Team celebration – Oct 6, 5 to 7 pm at the home of Melanie and Randy Serroels
  • Bat Cave – thank you Melanie, Dave Bru, Elaine, Paulette, Gaylen, Robyn, Joan
  • Steering Committee seeks new members
  • Social Connections update – Stacey Thompson or Wendy Hale
    • quick brainstorm of things you’d like to do in the next year – trips? social get togethers? breakfasts/coffees?