"Preservation Success Story" Ebeys Landing by Jonathan_C

Ebeys Landing Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 38 photos

Ebey's Landing is only two hours away from Seattle but those two hours will take you back over a hundred years to a landscape that is mostly unchanged from the patterns of use seen in the late 1800s. Here you can drive or bike or walk through rich farmland and forested hillsides, never more than a couple of miles from the sea on either side. Along the coast, bluff and beach trails provide year round hiking whenever there's a weather window. Quaint homesteads, abandoned military forts and lovely Coupeville overlay the natural fabric in a way that makes you feel that they are integral to the place -- part of what is needed to make whole cloth.

the human element

Washington state has many wilderness areas where you can experience nature in the raw. Indeed, that's why many of us live here. But it also has beautiful farmland and wonderful small communities. In the I-5 urban corridor -- what we call Pugetopolis -- most of these have been gobbled up by sprawl. Part of what is so special about Ebey's Landing is that is has preserved the essential link between us and the land. Driving through central Whidbey Island you sense that the inhabitants still have a strong connection to the land. There is a palpable 'sense of place' here that, like every kind of love, isn't diminished by your drinking it up and taking it back home with you.

partners in preservation

The magic of central Whidbey Island has had an uncertain future since the 1970s when the first farm sales pitted preservationists against property rights advocates. Ebey's Landing narrowly averted the 'death by a thousand cuts' of subdivision and suburbanization thanks to the action of hundreds of individuals, several organizations and an act of Congress. The result we have today is Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve run by the National Park Service. It serves as a 19,000 acre reminder of how we once lived with the land and still can if we choose to.

Several organizations participate in managing these 19,000 acres -- a testimony to the special qualities of this place. The most important web sites I've found are:

- the National Park Service
- Washington State Parks
- The Nature Conservancy
- The Trust for Public Land
- Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies
- town of Coupeville

So come and visit Ebey's Landing but do some background reading first. You'll find yourself inspired to preserve those special places that are near and dear to your own heart. And remember what Margaret Mead always said:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world:
Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

  • Last visit to Ebeys Landing: Feb 2004
  • Intro Updated Feb 27, 2004
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Reviews (11)

Comments (4)

  • Jul 15, 2005 at 10:25 AM

    Love that type of places! Your Knead and Feed in Coupeville tip is great!

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2004 at 3:15 PM

    $25 for the ferry? Whew, that seems a little steep. Have the prices gone up, I don't remember paying that much. But I suppose it beats the alternative of driving around the long way.

  • KristaB's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2004 at 3:48 AM

    Bluff ... I had to check my Dictionary, so now I know even less. Last pic in Album - I'd be dragging those sculptures home. Obsession, but we have a fireplace, so I can replace old art : )

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2004 at 12:25 PM

    A great way to take advantage of the February weather window! I have wandered around there briefly, though I am always en route via the Keystone ferry - a very nice way to avoid the traffic of Pugetopolis;-\


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