The votes were tallied in September, and San Juan Island artist Nancy Spaulding’s painting “Evening Passage” won the design contest for a proposed special license plate that would help support conservation projects in the San Juan Islands. Competition was stiff—47 eye-catching designs vied for votes during a series of roving exhibitions over the summer. …

A painting by Nancy Spaulding won the design competition for a proposed new San Juan Islands license plate that would help fund conservation projects.

The campaign to put Nancy’s winning design on a state-issued license plate still has a few hurdles to overcome before it becomes reality. First, the signatures of 3,500 Washington residents must be gathered (the petition drive is now about halfway to its goal, but more than 1,500 signatures are still needed). At that point, Senator Kevin Ranker will introduce a bill in the legislature. Assuming it passes, sales of the plate will generate an estimated $100,000 annually in grant funds for conservation and stewardship of natural, agricultural, historic, and cultural resources within the San Juan Islands.

If you haven’t already signed, you may do so electronically on the website of the Madrona Institute, here. The Madrona Institute, a conservation-focused nonprofit based on San Juan Island, would administer the grant program funded by sales of the special plate.

Signing the petition does not obligate you to purchase a license plate. But think how cool it would be to show your love for the San Juan Islands—and support a range of island conservation projects—by rocking this plate on your vehicle? Be forewarned, however: You won’t get plate SJ 001. That one will be reserved for Nancy Spaulding as the award for her winning design.


Side note: We here at SJPT have been fans of Nancy’s work for a long time. In fact, our logo contains one of her illustrations: