Stately cedars tower over a circle of pea patch gardens. Colorful flags beckon visitors to farmers market booths, abounding with island-grown and made goods. Large flat rocks situated here and there invite you to sit and rest or picnic.
Sally Bill’s vision for three acres she donated to the community, smack in the heart of Lopez Village, has become a reality. Before she passed away in 1999, Sally bought the property so she could give something back to the Lopez community she loved. With input from dozens of islanders, Sally put together a group of community members to see the job through. What emerged was a carefully crafted plan to preserve open green space in the ever-growing Lopez Village and showcase the island’s agriculture and gardening tradition.
To ensure the land is protected as a park in perpetuity, Sally arranged for a conservation easement on the open portion of the property to be donated to the San Juan Preservation Trust. Funds given to the Preservation Trust in Sally’s memory have been used to help establish the community garden.
“Sally gave the property in the spirit of her love of Lopez,” says Sandy Bishop, project manager. “She essentially said to the community, ‘this is your land.’ She wanted us to use it, make it ours and enjoy the ‘green’ within the village.” Thanks to her generosity and island-wide collaboration and enthusiasm, Sally’s dream is coming true in a beautiful way.