Our San Juan Islands

Conserve now. Enjoy forever.

The San Juan Preservation Trust works with our local communities and people like you to permanently conserve and care for special places throughout the San Juan Islands.

We acknowledge that we reside on the ancestral lands and waters of the Coast Salish people, who have called this place home since time immemorial, and we honor the inherent, aboriginal, and treaty rights that have been passed down from generation to generation.

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We’re harvesting kilowatt-hours at Red Mill Farm!

The Preservation Trust, like many land conservation organizations across the country, is trying to figure out how to integrate sustainable power generation with our conservation work. One obstacle is past conservation agreements that often don’t permit structures to be built in places that offer good solar exposure. Recently, on Red Mill Farm Preserve, SJPT staff found a good way to install a small- to medium-size solar array in a place where our conservation easement allows us to create this kind of structure.

Power consumption at Red Mill Farm is roughly 35,000 kilowatt-hours per year. After the full system is built—only half is built so far—it will offset the farm’s total energy consumption.

Our electricity usage has been relatively low, but we wanted to make Red Mill Farm Preserve is as carbon-neutral as possible as we seek to reduce our organization’s contribution to climate change. Demand for electricity in the Pacific Northwest is ever on the rise, and we all need to grapple with the fact that the region’s main power source—hydropower from dams on the Columbia and other rivers—will likely decline due to renegotiated water treaties, drought, and possible breaching of dams to help endangered orcas and salmon. By converting to solar power, organizations and private homeowners can help meet our utility company’s increased electricity demand with renewable energy instead of fossil-fuel alternatives.

We’ll be looking for opportunities to “grow” more green energy on SJPT-protected land in the future.

Soaking up some rays: Rob Roy McGregor and Thom Pence inspect the new solar panels | Staff archive

#sanjuanpreservationtrust #greenenergy #solar #conservation
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We’re harvesting kilowatt-hours at Red Mill Farm!

The Preservation Trust, like many land conservation organizations across the country, is trying to figure out how to integrate sustainable power generation with our conservation work. One obstacle is past conservation agreements that often don’t permit structures to be built in places that offer good solar exposure. Recently, on Red Mill Farm Preserve, SJPT staff found a good way to install a small- to medium-size solar array in a place where our conservation easement allows us to create this kind of structure.

Power consumption at Red Mill Farm is roughly 35,000 kilowatt-hours per year. After the full system is built—only half is built so far—it will offset the farm’s total energy consumption.

Our electricity usage has been relatively low, but we wanted to make Red Mill Farm Preserve is as carbon-neutral as possible as we seek to reduce our organization’s contribution to climate change. Demand for electricity in the Pacific Northwest is ever on the rise, and we all need to grapple with the fact that the region’s main power source—hydropower from dams on the Columbia and other rivers—will likely decline due to renegotiated water treaties, drought, and possible breaching of dams to help endangered orcas and salmon. By converting to solar power, organizations and private homeowners can help meet our utility company’s increased electricity demand with renewable energy instead of fossil-fuel alternatives.

We’ll be looking for opportunities to “grow” more green energy on SJPT-protected land in the future.

Soaking up some rays: Rob Roy McGregor and Thom Pence inspect the new solar panels | Staff archive

#sanjuanpreservationtrust #greenenergy #solar #conservation

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Could you please share who built this for you? Thanks!

Excellent!

More of this, please!

Happiest in the dirt.

Gardening for Butterflies at Fraser Homestead Preserve | Staff archive

#conservation #sanjuanpreservationtrust #volunteers
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Happiest in the dirt.

Gardening for Butterflies at Fraser Homestead Preserve | Staff archive

#conservation #sanjuanpreservationtrust #volunteersImage attachment

While I was gathering seeds last week—a favorite activity this time of year—an unusual yet familiar raspy murmuring became faintly audible high above. Quickly shifting my focus to scan the expanse of faded blue sky, squinting beyond where eagles, ravens and hawks commonly soar, the fluid tendrils of ivory wings came into view. Snow geese!

Known as harbingers of changing seasons, the snow geese that pass over the San Juans this time of year are following narrow flight paths from their breeding grounds in the high arctic to wintering sites as far south as the Baja Peninsula. Along their migration routes, large flocks stop to feed in marshes, grasslands, tidelands and agricultural areas. The extensive farm fields in the Skagit Valley are an important feeding ground for snow geese, who are often seen overwintering with trumpeter swans, with Mount Baker’s snowy slopes visible in the distance.

Some other voices to listen for at this time of year include the resonant chimes of the Varied Thrush, plaintive whistles of Gold-Crowned Sparrows, and emphatic chatter of Heermann’s gulls. Whether passing through or returning to reside for the winter, migrant birds add their unique color and music to autumn’s many delights. Providing natural areas in the San Juan Islands where they can find refuge along their life journeys is a deeply gratifying part of the work we do. –Ruthie Dougherty

Snow geese on the wing | Public domain (CC 1.0)
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While I was gathering seeds last week—a favorite activity this time of year—an unusual yet familiar raspy murmuring became faintly audible high above. Quickly shifting my focus to scan the expanse of faded blue sky, squinting beyond where eagles, ravens and hawks commonly soar, the fluid tendrils of ivory wings came into view. Snow geese!

Known as harbingers of changing seasons, the snow geese that pass over the San Juans this time of year are following narrow flight paths from their breeding grounds in the high arctic to wintering sites as far south as the Baja Peninsula. Along their migration routes, large flocks stop to feed in marshes, grasslands, tidelands and agricultural areas. The extensive farm fields in the Skagit Valley are an important feeding ground for snow geese, who are often seen overwintering with trumpeter swans, with Mount Baker’s snowy slopes visible in the distance.

Some other voices to listen for at this time of year include the resonant chimes of the Varied Thrush, plaintive whistles of Gold-Crowned Sparrows, and emphatic chatter of Heermann’s gulls. Whether passing through or returning to reside for the winter, migrant birds add their unique color and music to autumn’s many delights. Providing natural areas in the San Juan Islands where they can find refuge along their life journeys is a deeply gratifying part of the work we do. –Ruthie Dougherty

Snow geese on the wing | Public domain (CC 1.0)
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