"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.
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.
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.
Fort Ebey State Park is not normally thought of as one of our destination parks. Just on Whidbey Island you've got a... more travel advice
The National Park Service has put together a driving and cycling tour of the Reserve that is 43.6 miles in length and... more travel advice
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