Crescent Beach crosses the road due to wind and the king tide
Happy (almost) New Year!
The end of the year is always an exciting time at the Orcas Island Community Foundation and this year it is even more so. On top of all the year-end grants and contributions that are flowing in and out, OICF is embarking on a remarkable collaboration with our partners at the Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC), OPAL Community Land Trust and the Orcas Island Food Bank. We have made an offer to purchase a portion of the historic Lavender Farm — 11 acres located on the north side of Enchanted Forest Road between the Funhouse and the Saw Shop.
This project will benefit generations of islanders in the near and distant future. Located close to town, it provides a unique opportunity to create a community campus offering a full range of services.
The vision is to co-locate the Food Bank and OCRC, creating a central location to provide services, open a day use center for those neighbors who are currently unsheltered, and build a number of affordable rental homes. We have been in touch with the Funhouse, Children’s House, Salmonberry School, and the Senior Center to understand what type of a buffer and shared space may work for all.
This is a huge effort and could create lasting benefits for so many individuals and families for many years ahead. We are in the very early stages. A number of individuals have stated their intention to support the project financially, and we are still gathering financial commitments from people interested in supporting this effort. Let me know if you are interested in participating.
If and when our offer is accepted, we will enter into a period of due diligence to make sure we can use the property as intended. We are fortunate to be working with a team of consultants funded by the Washington State Rural Technical Assistance Program, as they bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in this type of project. If we navigate his process successfully, and purchase the property, then the true work begins.
I am filled with hope and appreciation by this possibility. If it inspires you as well, give me a call or come on by to learn more.
I wish you peace and health in the New Year.