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Whidbey Island’s Demographics

Whidbey Island’s Demographics

Whidbey Island, located in northern Puget Sound continues to benefit from technology industry expansions, following a lot of agony over “telecoms” and “dot.coms” employment contraction. The “mainland” areas of Mukilteo, Everett, and Seattle have, during the last few decades, attracted large numbers of “high technology” businesses. You may want to take a look at the following video about Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island:

Though the Boeing Company’s large-plane plant in Everett has been struggling somewhat with what they see as “unfair” sales competition from the European “Airbus Industries”, the company’s new “Dreamliner” is doing absolutely well. If Boeing were totally independent, it would still be the largest airplane manufacturer in the world.

This activity combined with the attractive, casual lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest, makes Whidbey Island, only three miles away, an accessible place with still reasonable property values. In reality, each year Boeing Everett has a smaller impact on Whidbey Island as fewer and fewer employees are needed to manufacture aircraft.

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Get Inspired by Whidbey Island Local Businesses

The South Whidbey Center of Senior Services of Island County: They completed upgrading our lighting system. Using the PSE incentives, lighting was retrofitted throughout the building including nine offices, four meeting rooms, the dining room and kitchen area, with low voltage, energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. We are looking forward to lower electricity bills in our future, and based on last months’ savings its already happening.

SSIC is projected to save well over $2300 a year.

Taproot Architects: They were transitioning their office to all-LED lighting, and continuing to reduce our footprint on all fronts.

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church: Organized and hosted Diocese of Olympia environmental retreat in Summer 2012.

  • Presented 4-week environmental forum series on Clean Water in November 2014.
  • Participated in interfaith gathering at Bayview Earth Day celebration in April 2014.
  • Provided clean up of Honeymoon Bay Rd., including noxious weeds, in Fall 2015.

Crafters Co-op: We ask our vendors not to use Styrofoam and to minimize plastic. (more…)

A Tour of Whidbey Island

A Tour of Whidbey Island

The ferry from Mukilteo (the Mainland side) to Clinton is the route taken by most first-time visitors. Once on Whidbey Island, recreational and historical sights are abundant. All are free! Our main office is conveniently located 1 1/2 miles up the highway from the ferry landing, at the stop light in Kens Korner Mall. First, be sure to visit the town of Langley (merely follow Langley Road, out of our parking lot). Langley is widely known year-round as a “quaint seaside” village of shops and inns.

Just offshore of the marina area in Langley, Captain James Vancouver on his flagship, HMS Discovery, made the eighth anchorage on May 31, 1792, during his “discovery” and mapping of Puget Sound. Langley is the site of the Island County Fair, held each year in August, and the Choochokam Festival of the Arts. Choochokam, in late June or early July each year, is a festival of national importance.

Continuing “up island”, one can either return to the main highway (SR 525) via 3rd Street and Brooks Hill Road and past Lone Lake to Bayview; or, for a pleasant longer tour leave Langley via 2nd Street and Saratoga Road and drive around Fox Spit and Baby Island to Freeland. To visit one of our favorite picnicking and walking sites, visit Double Bluff beach.

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Whidbey Island’s History Part 2

Whidbey Island’s History Part 2

There is evidence that some humans lived on Whidbey Island perhaps 8,000 years ago. Certainly, there were significant villages of Snohomish, Suquamish, Skagit and Swinomish Indians or their ancestors by 1500. From 1500 to 1640, hundreds of European explorers, especially those Portuguese and Spanish navigators influenced by Prince Henry’s school of navigation in Lisbon, circumnavigated the globe and sailed southern and northern waters with confidence.

In 1500 the Portuguese navigator Gaspar Cortereal discovered Labrador and the entrance to Hudson Bay. Spanish and Portuguese mariners made parallel discoveries in the Pacific: Balboa in 1513, followed by Cortez, Cabrillo, and Ferrelo. Martin Frobisher in the 1550’s explored widely the northern coasts of present-day Canada. In 1610, a Dutch navigator sailing for England, Henry Hudson, explored Hudson Bay far to the west seeking the theoretical “Northwest Passage” believed to connect the Atlantic to the Pacific across North America, analogous to what Ferdinand Magellan found in 1520 at the ‘bottom’ of South America where the Atlantic Ocean joined the Pacific.

Sir Francis Drake in 1579 sailed the outer coast of much of the “Oregon Territory” in his quest for fame. To promote trade and find a ‘Northwest Passage’ route across North America (and solidify British interests in these resource-rich lands), the Hudson’s Bay Company was founded in London, in 1668.

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Whidbey Island’s History Part 1

Whidbey Island’s History Part 1

Whidbey Island is the western part of Washington’s Island County. In 1792, Captain Vancouver named the island after Joseph Whidbey, Captain of the HMS Discovery who was probably the first western explorer to set foot on this land at Penn’s Cove (near what we know as Coupeville). Whidbey Island is Puget Sound’s largest island, some 45 miles long and between one and a half and ten miles wide.

One of Whidbey Island’s early settlers in the 1850’s, Samuel Maylor, inscribed in a hand-written family album, “To my sons: Remember’ memories, if once lost, are gone forever.” So it is. Let no history be “gone forever”! Visitors and residents alike tend to think of “original” Coupeville, Langley, and Oak Harbor as “quaint” Victorian villages that evidence the early beginnings of Whidbey’s European history.

Not so, though Whidbey’s earliest white settlers left few indications of their passing on our landscape – unless you know where to look. We tend to think of Coupeville, founded by two dozen New England sea captains, as representing our European beginnings. Coupeville is, in fact, Washington’s second oldest town, after Ft. Walla Walla, the terminus of the Oregon Trail. But, before there was a ‘Washington’ and before Thomas Coupe even arrived at Whidbey Island to lend his name to Coupeville, there was Coveland.

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Whidbey Island Weather Year Round

If you dream of a mild Pacific Northwest with warm winters and cool summers, modest rainfall, spectacular scenery with eagles and whales, this could be the place you’ve been trying to get to! Only 65-minutes from Metropolitan Seattle but light years away via a 15-minute ferry trip, you’ll find this “secret place”; a relaxed countryside of friendly neighbors, fir forests, and pastures, snow-capped mountains, east and west, wind-swept bluffs and driftwood-covered beaches. Add pristine air quality, unpolluted water, low crime, good schools, and no state income tax, but great health care delivery, and you would be on Whidbey Island and enjoy Whidbey Island Weather!

There are places in the world so exceptional they don’t require superlatives. Whidbey Island is such a place. Try “life in the rain shadow”.

The interesting ways many people come to live on Whidbey Island! A few decades ago, a successful antique dealer in Los Angeles, was trapped in 12-24 hour work days. In a conversation with a friend, she reflected on returning to a life in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, because of the sea and the trees.

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Every Seed Is Telling A Story

A small Pacific Northwest farmer is helping save the planet, one seed at a time

THE SEED SAVER

In plant propagation, our past and future are preserved… Two days ago, in an egg carton on my desk, I planted a dozen pointy brown seeds, each slightly bigger than a comma.

Already, one seed has spurted hairy white roots; soon, a pair of tender cotyledons will unfold, followed by tiny emerald leaves splashed with red. As the days stretch and warm, the leaves will swell into a curvaceous siren of a lettuce named ‘Flashy Butter Oak.’

This spring marks Flashy’s debut on the salad circuit. Crisp to the tooth, soft on the tongue, resistant to cold and sclerotinia stem rot, the ruffled lettuce is an exotic starlet — the product of millions of years of natural selection, more than 10,000 years of human selection and 22 years of careful observation and cross-pollination by classical plant breeder Frank Morton, a self-described “obsessive-compulsive seed head.”

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Sustainable Businesses On Whidbey Island

Name Industry & City Description on Whidbey Island, Washington

Anchorage Inn – Lodging – Coupeville
The Anchorage Inn Bed and Breakfast is a new Victorian Inn, offering seven lavishly appointed rooms with splendid views of the cove, waterfront buildings, rolling hills on Whidbey Island, nearby Camano Island, and 10,700 foot Mt. Baker.


Angelo’s Caffe – Restaurant – Oak Harbor
Italian foods, bakery, and coffees.

BBQ Joint Restaurant – Oak Harbor
They’re your place for home cooking by mom and pop and as a family-owned and -operated restaurant. They offer superior catering services and delivery for your next special event, whether wedding, anniversary, birthday or retirement party.

Best Friend’s Veterinary Center – Veterinary Clinic – Oak Harbor
Best Friend’s Veterinary Center is dedicated to providing warm, loving, knowledgeable care for companion pets.

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Treasures of the Tide Flats

Treasures of the Tide Flats

On a beach or at a bash, oysters are worthy of celebration

FOR A MOMENT, I had the sense that the world was an oyster — not my oyster, perhaps, but an oyster nonetheless. Standing beside the shell-shaped bowl of Totten Inlet at low tide on a winter evening, I couldn’t help noticing that the clouds whirled above my head in the pattern of an oyster’s markings.

The receding tide lapped at the shore the same way an oyster’s liquor splashes inside its shell, and the very air was filled with the fresh salt-water smell of mollusks.

The particular piece of beach on which I stood is home to a shellfish-growing operation managed by Taylor Shellfish Farms. Company president Bill Taylor and oyster promoter Jon Rowley were our hosts when a baker’s dozen of us oyster aficionados set out for a beachside picnic in January.

Taylor runs more than a half-dozen farms from Willapa Bay to Samish Bay, and the Taylor family has been farming oysters in Washington for more than a century.

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Help for Whidbey Island Beaches

The members of Whidbey ECONet are doing social research for a good cause. Whidbey Island Beaches are prized continuously for its spectacular views, the opportunity to watch the island’s great marine wildlife and take a walk, the chance to dig clams, and the special habitat it offers for wild salmon. To keep Whidbey Island’s shores clean, productive, and beautiful, the members of ECONet have joined forces in order to set up various projects.

One of these projects was a survey by Whidbey Watershed Stewards targeted to discover what the Whidbey population thinks important, what they care about, and in what way the organization’s service for the people of Whidbey can be improved. ECONet’s partner organizations additionally learned much about social research during the project and great help was offered by researchers of Applied Research Northwest and the people from Puget Sound Partnership.

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