On Whidbey Island, Earth Day has expanded to encompass the whole month of April. Collectively known as Whidbey Earth and Ocean Month, activities appeal to a wide range of interests, ages, and backgrounds. This year’s calendar offers more events than ever, including a return to a kickoff event to launch the whole month.
The Kickoff event, happening Wednesday, April 5 at 4 PM at the Bayview Cash Store, will host more than 15 local organizations with informational displays, an artists demonstration, and a keynote address from Dr. Jennifer Atkinson. Dr. Atkinson, an Associate Professor of environmental humanities at the University of Washington, Bothell, will focus on climate grief, and give suggestions for channeling that anxiety and grief into meaningful action and change. The Kickoff is free and open to all, and the keynote is available in person and online.
Participating organizations with Earth & Ocean Month activities include the Greening Congregations Collaborative, Island Transit, Orca Network, Pacific Rim Institute, Sno-Isle Libraries, Sound Water Stewards, South Whidbey Tilth, Whidbey Audubon Society, Whidbey Watershed Stewards, and more.
Most events are free and open to everyone. A complete schedule is available at www.whidbeyearthday.org
Nature Talk & Walk and Treasure Hunt (Saturday, April 8 at 2 PM): Travis Furlanic, Whidbey’s own fungi expert and owner of Whidbey Mushroom Tours, and a frequent visitor to the Freeland Watershed Preserve (FWP), will give a talk on the mushrooms (fungi) frequently found at FWP on the hour (at 2 and 3 PM) then turn visitors loose to walk the trails to spot mushrooms and native plants. He will then be available for questions.
Affordable Fresh Foods at Farmers Markets (Tuesday, April 11 at 2 PM): Are you a SNAP or WIC customer? Are you a farmer who sells produce or honey at a farmers’ market? Do you work with low income community members? This workshop will explain how the new Farmers Market Nutrition Program works at Farmers’ Markets. No more paper vouchers — customers get digital cards to redeem good food. Growers must apply by April 1 (new growers by July 1) and have a digital reader. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Market Match program continues. This free program is hosted by South Whidbey Tilth and Island Senior Resources.
Ride with a Guide Bus Tour to Guemes Island (Fri, April 14): Let’s go island hopping by bus, bridge and boat! Visit Whidbey, Fidalgo and Guemes Islands via Island Transit and Skagit Transit buses. Have lunch at the Guemes Store, browse through downtown Anacortes, then catch the bus back to Whidbey. Play Transit Trivia and win prizes on the way. Touring by transit lowers your carbon footprint and builds community. The tour, like the bus, is free but bring money for lunch. For details and to reserve your seat, email: [email protected] or call 360-678-9536.
Keystone Weed Round Up (Wednesday, April 19 at 9 AM): Help rescue growing trees from blackberries on this Coupeville preserve not yet open to the public with Whidbey Camano Land Trust.
USL’s Vocalize Our Future Youth-Led Protest (Friday, April 21 at 4 PM) United Student Leaders are holding a series of protests all around Island County to demand that a Climate Emergency Declaration be declared, and that the county take immediate and bold climate action. They will be protesting in front of the Island County District Court Office.
Guided walks, work parties, and additional lectures and gatherings will take place throughout Whidbey during the month of April.