A Seattle native, Camille Uhlir grew up on the shores of Puget Sound, where she and her brother spent happy hours beachcombing, making trails, investigating tide pools, and camping out in the backyard.
She attended Washington State University, drawn to eastern Washington, she says, “by the beauty of the rolling fields and prairies of the Palouse Hills, which appealed to my appreciation for open space.”
Her professional career was spent in finance as a specialist in institutional fixed-income sales with several Wall Street firms.
During a sabbatical in 1989, Camille and her husband, Jim, drove between Los Angeles and San Diego. “I remembered the drive as a child, going through beautiful orange groves,” she recalls. “The transformation to endless condominium developments led to the realization that preserving open space was critical.”
Having enjoyed visits to the San Juan Islands, she and Jim looked for property on San Juan Island. In June of 1989, they felt lucky to purchase a farm off Bailer Hill Road, where they currently reside about half the year. “We love the property,” Camille says, “and have created conservation easements on it, participated in Garry Oak restoration, planted hundreds of fir trees and, best of all, attracted bluebirds as part of the reintroduction project by the San Juan Preservation Trust.”
Camille received SJPT’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2018 for her years of enthusiastic dedication to the Pacific Bluebird Reintroduction project.
“The mission of the SJPT is compelling,” she says, “and the opportunity to contribute to the effort is a welcome challenge.”