“Celebrating Cedar” event at the Ellis Preserve, Shaw Island

After more than a year of COVID-necessitated hiatus, we were delighted to welcome small groups for a series of educational and inspirational afternoon programs at the Marilyn and Fred Ellis Preserve this summer.

Exploring insect life by the pond

“Three Saturdays in August” highlighted explorations in entomology, discussions of the rich history of indigenous cultures in the San Juans, and a celebration of the iconic Western red cedar.

Providing opportunities to connect people with the places under our care is not only an essential part of the Preservation Trust’s mission, it is an enriching experience for all involved. Cultivating awareness nurtures a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world around us. It also underscores how profoundly we both influence and depend on our precious environment.

As we gathered to share stories under towering cedars, imagined hundreds of generations of indigenous wisdom, and peered into the extraordinary eyes of a dragonfly, we experienced collective wonder. A scoop of pond water or sweep of an insect net was testimony to the abundant life pulsing all around us. The fragrant, supple strength of cedar bark in our hands enchanted young and old, evoking a quiet, almost reverent, concentration.

Most profoundly, what permeated these gatherings was a sense of joy and gratitude—enough, we believe, to last until we are together again.