Out in the “eastest” part of Orcas Island, the SJPT Northeast Shore Preserve (not to be confused with the new North Shore property near Eastsound, owned by the San Juan County Conservation Land Bank) is a narrow 17-acre band of rugged coastline property where nearly 4,000 feet of shoreline are protected. When Peter first arrived, the trail was steep, littered with debris from past storms, and the beach was strewn with washed-up garbage. He reached out to us to see how he could help improve it, and he certainly did that!
In addition to attending other SJPT events during the spring and summer, Peter has spent dozens of hours at his adopted preserve, hauling all sorts of trash (lines, buckets, chains, plywood, buoys, Styrofoam) away from the beach and carving out a new trail after a rockslide and fallen trees made the original one inaccessible for many of his Eagle Lake neighbors.
“I just can’t imagine not caring for the land we use,” Peter says. “I’ve always had the mindset that we don’t truly own land, we are just caring for it, and I believe in the importance of this. This just speaks to me.”
As if that work wasn’t inspiring enough, the monitoring reports that Peter submits after each outing verge on the poetic as they describe his observations, noting what this place does for his sense of wellbeing as well as that of other nearby residents, human and nonhuman alike.
Below are some of the inspiring and thoughtful observations that Peter has shared with us in his reports: