We are kicking off “Celebrate 25 years of Island County Beach Watchers”. The activities below came from brainstorming sessions in late 2014, followed by an interest survey earlier this year. Thanks to all who contributed!
It’s clear that what Beach Watchers love most (and are willing to help and plan for) are the good food and ambience of pot-luck gatherings. Boat cruises and a trip to the aquarium were also highly rated. In the outreach area, highly rated ideas included beaches tours and guided walks, information for new residents, and a book about ‘what do do at the beach’. We also want others to know about us, through newspaper articles, and also to know more about ourselves!
‘Official’ BW25 activities are shown below – in seven major categories – big celebrations, small celebrations, ‘reunion central’, field trips, newspaper articles, sharing our knowledge with the public, and honoring our founders.
If you want to be involved and haven’t been contacted, you can contact the BWAC Champion or Lead indicated below, or contact .
1. Big Celebrations
1.1 Annual picnic at Deception Pass State Park in late July or early August for all Beach Watchers, with a program that highlights stories from BWs throughout the years. May include commemorative displays – all BWs, collages/slide shows; may honor the founders Don Meehan and Susan Berta.
- BWAC Champion: Nicole Luce (i)
- Leads: Whidbey: Nicole, Ingri Johnson (i), Finn Gatewood (i), Liz Berg (i), Michele Johnson (i)… ___________________ recruiting for more planning team mates.
1.2 At Camano Island State Park – August 25th – a mix of public and BW celebrations.
- BWAC Champion: John Mathis (i)
- Leads: Jeff Wheeler (i), _______________________
2. Smaller BW get-togethers
These could be for members of your BW class, or BW’s from your geographic area, or from BW teams that you have worked with. The type of gathering is up to you – picnic, bonfire, ice-cream social, wine-tasting, … (including, where appropriate, speakers, story tellers, etc., BUT please do send in a short story to our ‘Reunion Central’ [#3 below]).
- BWAC Champion: Bill Young (i) – events at Lighthouse/Fort Casey State Park; Tom Vos – other Whidbey events
- Leads: wine-tasting – Debra Paros (i).
Otherwise, no specified leads – jump in and plan a gathering!
3. Need for Communications within BW – “Reunion Central”
You are reading this article via our new BW-25 newsletter which highlights BW stories – hopefully a good mix of new activities and looking back at our history. Feel free to write or suggest an article.
- Tech Lead: Connie Clark (i)
- Camano Lead: _________________
- Whidbey Lead: _________________
4. Fun and Educational Field Trips
4.1 – A trip to the Seattle Aquarium (BW + family) with a private tour. Possibly in September/October.
- BWAC Champion: Kelly Zupich (i)
- Leads: Kelly, Tom Vos (i), Sue Salveson (i)
4.2 Educational boat cruise to highlight nearshore issues (public invited to help defray the cost) and/or whale watching. Plan the cruise to go by specific areas of the island shores with speakers on board to discuss examples of shore hardening and impact on littoral drift, bluff slumping, eelgrass beds, …
- BWAC Champion: Bill Young (i)
- Leads: Bonnie Gretz (i), Sue Salveson (i)
5. Need for communicating with the public
Local newspaper articles were the most voted idea – but with not many people volunteering to be planners/helpers. There should be a lead for each island/region, to plan a set of articles for local newspapers that highlight local Beach Watchers and their activities. Do YOU like to write?
While some articles may be about BW as a whole, others should be about BW residents in the serving area of the local newspaper. Hence the regional leads.
- BWAC Champions: Whidbey – Joanne McMillen (i);
Camano – ___________________
- Camano Lead: ______________
- North Whidbey Lead: Debra Paros (i), Kes Tautvydas (i)
- South Whidbey Lead: ___________________
6. Sharing our knowledge with the public
6.1 – Guided Walks … at locations throughout both islands, and spread throughout the spring/summer/fall; can include docents at beach. Each with kid-focused component (unless explicitly advertised otherwise). All walks should be well advertised, and those on Whidbey should have posters on the ferry as well. What we learn from doing this can serve as input for considering a more formal ‘Nearshore Habitat Learning Guide’.
- BWAC Champions: Bill Young (i) – events at Lighthouse/Ft. Casey State Park;
- Whidbey Lead: _____________
- Camano Lead: Jeff Wheeler (i)
6.2 Getting information about our island environment out to existing, new, and potential residents
We will start ”Virtual Whidbey Tour” and “Virtual Camano Tour” websites, with the content to be created by each island’s BWs. Selections from this material can be used in printed materials, and may lead to a book in future years (following “Getting to the Water’s Edge” with “What to do at the Beach”).
- BWAC Champions: Kes Tautvydas (i) – Whidbey;
- Tech Lead: Connie Clark (i)
- Camano Lead: __________
- Whidbey Lead: Kes Tautvydas (i)
7. Honoring our Founders
Most interest was in Adopting a Beach, followed by ‘plant a tree’. Details TBD by leads. (Note: at the annual picnic (#1.1) we may honor the founders Don Meehan and Susan Berta as well.)
- BWAC Champions: Bob Gentz (i) for Adopt-A-Beach.
- Wanted! __________________ Lead[s] for Plant-A-Tree