Library Park Conservation Easement

Orcas Island

Year Protected: 1997

Land Protected: 1 acre

Public Benefits: open space

A unique collaboration of public and private agencies and some very generous individuals transformed two small lots in the village of Eastsound, Orcas Island, into a beloved village park in 1997. Bob and Phyllis Henigson of Deer Harbor envisioned the vacant lots between Prune Alley and the Orcas Island Library as a beautiful little park, augmenting access to the library grounds and preserving open space among the buildings of the village. Willing to purchase and donate the property for this use, the Henigsons wanted to make sure the land would be designed, managed, and protected as a park in perpetuity.

What emerged from community-based conversations was a carefully crafted plan that accomplished all of these goals and brought in a number of organizations to steward the delightful little park. The San Juan County Parks Department owns Library Park, the Preservation Trust holds a conservation easement to ensure it remains free of future development, and the Orcas Island Community Foundation will manage the endowment funds to ensure its long-term care. Lastly, the park is being managed by the Library Park Committee.

“There are existing opportunities for preserving key open space in the islands which, if not seized on, will be lost forever,” said Bob Henigson. “Phyllis and I are thrilled that the prospect of Library Park is being realized.”