A Letter from Angela
One of my favorite places to find joy and connection with nature is the Lost Oak Trail on Turtleback Mountain. I was introduced to it and the adjoining trails on Turtleback the first time I visited Orcas Island five years ago. Now that I live on Orcas, I hike these trails whenever I can. While I never tire of the stunning views, my favorite thing about hiking these trails is seeing lots of Garry oaks.
Oaks support more forms of life than any other tree genus in North America. Beyond their ecological value as keystone species, oaks also have symbolic significance for me. I often reflect on parallels between how they grow and SJPT’s growth as an organization.
Oaks grow big but start small. During their first few years, they sprout only a few leaves and remain just a few inches tall. They direct most of their energy into developing a robust root system. Once firmly rooted, oaks are poised to mature into towering, majestic trees that support habitat-oases full of diverse life.
You are a vital part of SJPT’s root system. Through your generous gifts of time and treasure, you’ve nourished and anchored the organization as it’s gradually matured since its founding in 1979.
Today we are poised for a significant expansion, beefing up our trunk and branches to bear the weight of significant challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. This year, thanks to your support, we’ve strengthened our infrastructure in several ways. Among them:
- We hired seven new employees (a single-year record), two of them to fill existing open positions and five to fill new or expanded positions.
- The five (soon to be six) new positions have expanded our capacity in the areas of conservation, educational outreach, philanthropy, accounting, and technology support.
- We’ve made tangible progress along our journey towards greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, seeking to expand our “canopy” to include more people and partners.
- We completed a new Strategic Conservation Plan, which places a high priority on addressing existing and predicted impacts of climate change.
In the following pages, we highlight a variety of ways in which we’ve advanced the “three Cs” of our mission—Conserve, Care, and Connect—in 2022. Most of all, we dedicate this “Year in Review” to acknowledging and thanking you, our donors, volunteers, and partners, the steadfast “roots” that ground us and make our work possible.
Angela Anderson, Executive Director