Sierra O’Connell, SJPT Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, writes:
At 10,541 feet, a bumblebee blew over Glacier Peak, past Peter Kilpatrick and me. We were with a small group of climbers hoping for epic views after we climbed the difficult, technical route to the summit. We were rewarded not views, but with whiteout conditions at the top, but that didn’t bother Pete. He was quick with a laugh as he marveled at this tiny pollinator soaring at full tilt in the stiff wind. That’s how Pete is: tenacious through challenges (which he actively seeks out) and always sporting a joyful countenance. During the Glacier Peak trip, I met the wild mountain man in Pete, whom I had previously known as my husband’s revered former boss, as his son Adrian’s dad, and as a superstar community member.
Pete Kilpatrick takes his role as an active community member seriously, and has stepped up his game after he retired last year from owning and managing Ravenhill Construction. He volunteers with the Preservation Trust as a member of our Board of Trustees, and is also singlehandedly renovating the Red Mill (actually a disguised pump house) at Red Mill Farm Preserve on San Juan Island. He has rebuilt the formerly rickety stairs and deck leading to the building’s upper floor. There, he’s spruced up the interior. Also at Red Mill Farm, Pete has begun construction of a storage shed for Salish Seeds Nursery, and even has plans to build a Salish Seeds greenhouse.
In addition to his work at Red Mill Farm, Pete has provided expert assistance at Reef Island Preserve in evaluating and shoring up the island’s historical structures.
“I’m pretty happy to be put out to pasture,” Pete says. “I’ve always placed a high priority on my volunteer work, even when I was buried with the management of Ravenhill Construction.” He’s volunteered for 20 years with the fire department, 15 years with the San Juan Home Trust, plus years of working on shoreline-protection issues with the San Juan Initiative. “Now that I’m retired,” he says, “I can combine my love of volunteering with going back to the days when I was a carpenter.”
In his “retirement,” Pete is as busy, energetic, and enterprising as that high-flying bumblebee on Glacier Peak. We’re so lucky and grateful to him on our team!