Saturday, May 17, 2008

Penn Cove Water Festival - Canoes, Sun and Stories

I'm sitting here at the keyboard, falling asleep after a day of too much fun in the sun. Unseasonably and gloriously warm weather blessed the Penn Cove Water Festival today. Native American competitors from around Washington and BC come to race long, beautiful and suprisingly agile canoes around the waters of Penn Cove.

The weather made this an exceptional festival - a lot of people came to Coupeville. Good food - (we had the bbq brisket and I missed out on the Indian fry bread - dang), amazing entertainmen

t - captivating storytellers, fiddle/violin, Native American dancing, arts and crafts booths, educational and informational booths and the kids activities - my kids made boats from scrap wood, native whale hats and had their face painted.

All of these things are a glimpses of Ebey's Reserve. Old and new, good food, culture(s), natural beauty, fun, art, sport. The Native American stories and dances are about honoring and embracing the natural world, being stewards, looking back as we move forward. What a day!

(time to rub aloe vera onto by sunburned neck).

Mitch Richards

Thursday, May 15, 2008

ebey's forever

I. It's easy to talk about the beauty of this place.
The iconic barns and working farms elevate us.
The deep dark chocolate dirt enriches us.
But some days we have challenges that threaten the integrity of the Reserve
That undermine our community's working rural heritage.
II. In some fields, on top of soils of national significance
Some folks want to grow big, big houses.
Houses of 5,000 square feet to replace
Historic homes of 1,200 or so.
Well, we all want our view, a dream house.
III. What has always been required for the Reserve to succeed is people participating.
This is still the case.
People have to come to the table to participate,
To momentarily set aside individual pursuits for the greater good.
In this manner extraordinary things can happen.
Democracy has always been about optimism.
Sure it's a bit corny,
IV. But the beauty and heritage that surround us today in the Reserve
Is no accident.
And those million dollar views are here because local farmers sold
Their own development rights to protect these farmlands for future generations.
This gives us quite a responsibility.
What's our legacy going to be?
Mark Preiss
Reserve Manager
Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve