A Letter from Angela
On a beautiful November Sunday morning, my husband, our two daughters, and I put on our fanciest clothes. We stepped outside our Orcas Island home to snap a few family self-portraits. Then we went back inside to gather around a computer so we could “Zoom in” to my mother- in-law’s wedding in Pennsylvania, 2,000 miles away.
Our 10-year-old daughter was appointed the virtual flower girl. As the ceremony unfolded, there wasn’t a dry eye on the Zoom screen. In spite of the physical distance separating those who took part in the wedding, we were all brought close in a deeply meaningful way.
For the Preservation Trust, the past 10 months have been something like that. The COVID-19 pandemic has had deep impacts on how we’ve been able to carry out our conservation mission—not least of all by keeping our staff and board members physically distant from each other and from you, who make our work together possible.
Despite feelings of deep sadness due to the pandemic, I have found joy through maintaining and strengthening connections with family, friends, colleagues, and the natural world—often in ways I could never have imagined before last March. For example:
- We pivoted from in-person guided outings to our “Just a Minute” video series, designed to connect people with nature in their own backyards.
- We held our annual meeting as a virtual event, which enabled a record number of members to participate.
- Our planned field trip to False Bay after the annual meeting, which would have been led by our featured speaker, Dr. Drew Harvell, was transformed into a video tour of False Bay at low tide. The video, “Through Her Eyes,” filmed by SJPT volunteer Michael Noonan, won an Audience Choice Award in the Friday Harbor Film Festival!
- Compensating for many cancelled stewardship work parties, a record number of volunteers have signed up to serve as Preserve Stewards, who work on their own to help care for SJPT-protected lands.
I’m thankful for you all, who have done so much to make this challenging year not just a productive one, but in some ways a record-setting year for the Preservation Trust. How? Let us show you—and thank you—in the following pages, in which we report on how you have enabled us to advance each of the three C’s of our mission: Conserve, Care, and Connect.
With deep gratitude,
Angela Anderson, Executive Director