Vitality | July Newsletter



Join us Thursdays
on the Land

Each Thursday, from 9 am to 4 pm, join Abigail and Margaret for Westgarden Work Parties. Stay all day, or drop in when you can!  

On 2nd and 4th Thursdays, join Robert for Community Trail Days. Get to know the forest while helping to maintain the trails together. 

Trail and Garden volunteers enjoy a light lunch together at noon.  Learn more here.


July 7, August 4, September 1
Stillness Tuesday

July 19—August 1
Tai Chi Foundation

July 27—31
Forest Day Camp

August 2
Chinook BioBlitz

August 2—7
Passion, Purpose,
& Produce

August 18—23
Y-WE Write Camp

August 27—30
Mindfulness & Movement

September 9, 9 am
Writing Nature's Wisdom

September 16—21
Klinghardt Retreat

September 23—27
Warrior Monk Retreat

September 30—October 4



Presented by Wholehearted Masculine, a project of Whidbey Institute Program Coordinator Dan Mahle, on Thursday, July 30, from 7—9 pm at SIFF Cinema in Seattle. This film  by Jennifer Newsom asks: As a society, how are we failing our boys?

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS BY JULY 21 to confirm this screening through Tugg!


This month, we're introducing a new blog feature: From the Archives. Take a walk through history with quotes, images, and articles from four decades at Chinook. Here's our first offering: 

A People to Walk With
by Fritz Hull
. . . I remember on the morning we left Selma, Martin Luther King saying, “tell your children and your grandchildren that you were here, that you were part of history.” Today, we want to know that in the future we can tell our families that we awoke to the challenge of our time, joined in the great work, and that we did our creative best. We can also tell them that on this journey, in a way more deeply satisfying than we expected, we found we were linked with others in passionate community—we found a people to walk with. Read Fritz’s full article on our blog


The Whidbey Institute is a community of leaders supporting each other in advancing positive social and environmental change in the world. The 100 acres of Chinook stand with and for us and hold us together in that commitment.

As an educational 501(c)3 non-profit organization, we depend upon on the people we serve to contribute to the financial health of the organization.  Your donation is deeply appreciated, and makes our work possible.



header, deer twins, mara, mary jakubiak. tai chi, tai chi foundation. frog, owls (r & top), thomas arthur anderson. carrots, cow, granny's, mama deer with twins, owl (l), marnie jones. journal, nate mccall. apprentices, lissa firor. mask you live in, courtesy the producers. dorothy, courtesy dorothy.

V I T A L I T Y 
"What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly
will make plans enough
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep."

—David Whyte, from What to Remember when Waking



One week of advanced training followed by one week of training for all levels. Register for one or both weeks! All level students can expect a clear and effective path to learning and mastering the art of Tai Chi Chuan.


JULY 27—31
A fun week of forest adventure — this year, culminating with an optional Thurs. overnight camping experience! We will connect to our earth home as we play, explore and learn essential forest life skills.


 AUGUST 2, 10 AM
A youth-friendly activity centered on engaging with biodiversity, led by scientists and nature experts. Connect with nature in a fun and exciting way. Teachers get clock hours! Ages 10+ invited to participate.

Partner Spotlight: Meet Mara Grey
by Marnie Jones

MaraGardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe.” —Thomas Berry

Mara Grey—botanist, Celtic harpist, storyteller, master gardener, and author of The Lazy Gardener and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Flower Gardening—volunteers as caretaker for the Appletree Garden at Chinook.

When I spoke with Mara in the shade of the old apple tree, our conversation ranged from Chinook history and garden stewardship to ancient languages and the power of story. Read more about Mara on our blog
Reason to Hope: On parenting in the face of climate change
by Marnie Jones

During the Cascadia Climate Collaborative Conference this April, Marnie was invited to submit a testimonial for
Conceivable Future, which asks how climate change is influencing womens’ decisions on childbearing. These are excerpts from that testimonial. 

HopeI've had conversations with those who wonder if it's not a mistake—even a crime—to bring more people onto this overpopulated planet, but I don't share that perspective. I fear that if everyone who cares about the impact of humanity on our planet stops parenting children, then we lose a vital chance to influence the next generation of our culture. We need kids who know what's going on and know how to help. The harm isn't in how MANY we are, it's in HOW we are.

I believe in our power, as a species, to change—and I believe in children as empowered agents of that change. I expect that together we can save the world. 

My children are careful students of life, and when I behave with moral inconsistency I can count on them to call me on it. They demand the kind of integrity this world calls for today. Read Marnie's full article on our blog.
Meet Our Board: Spotlight on Dorothy
by Marnie Jones

DorothyBoard member Dorothy Baumgartner recently took time to talk with us about work, life, and her service to the Whidbey Institute. She said she’s been inspired by the collaborations that happen at the Whidbey Institute, and the sense that this is a place where people can convene, get support, and feel inspired.

“I see the momentum that can develop when people inspired to change get together. It’s catalytic,” she said. “The Whidbey Institute has been a beacon—a place where there’s possibility—a holder of hope for what might happen.” Read more about about Dorothy on our blog

Community Garden Updates

apprenticesCommunity Garden Leadership Training is in full swing! Here are a few quick program updates.

Every Monday the apprentices and coordinators get together for a garden class. The topics have ranged from Beneficial Insects in the Garden to Irrigation and Crop Planning. This class in particular gave the apprentices vital skills to do a crop rotation plan for their selected garden. 

We have weekly work parties in three locations: Whidbey Institute Westgarden (Thursdays), Good Cheer Food Bank Garden (Wednesdays), and School Farm (Tuesdays). Volunteers of all ages are coming out and dedicating their time to growing food for the community. 

Camille Green, Good Cheer garden coordinator, bas been coordinating large service learning projects with youth. The apprentices have been a huge help. With elementary students, they've helped with fun, engaging projects like pizza and taco gardens and scarlet runner bean teepees. To show their gratitude to Cary Peterson, program co-coordinator, South Whidbey Elementary students sang her a personalized version of The Garden Song at their year-end assembly last month. 
Granny's Upgrades

GrannysGranny's, our woodland home, received some much-needed TLC this spring in the form of all new Milgard windows and a beautiful, safe new rear staircase and porch. In addition to providing greater energy efficiency and aesthetic improvements, the new, screened windows will improve guest comfort—providing winter warmth and summer breezes. 

In other facilities news, Beno has been working to repair the greenhouse roof and install passive venting to augment the thermostatic fan, and Rob is establishing a permanent soaking system for the courtyard gardens.

The Chinook Journal: Drop by and leave your mark!

JournalNext time you visit Thomas Berry Hall,
you'll find the Chinook Journal upstairs:

A permanent record book,
gratitude journal, and exchange diary
for the Whidbey Institute community.

Share your Chinook observations,
reflections, questions, and musings.

Yours are the stories
of the Whidbey Institute at Chinook.

WHOO goes there?

We have enjoyed encounters with many other animals at Chinook this month. The diversity of life is never more apparent than in the spring and summer—it seems everyone is waking up, growing up, and speaking up! We've continued taking photos of owls and deer at Chinook . . . clockwise from top, a baby barred owl, a great horned owl, a deer with twin fawns outside the Farmhouse, and a great horned owl spotted above the Appletree Garden. 

If you walk the Sacred Ridge Trail this summer, keep your ears peeled for a long, faint whistle . . . that's the cry of the young barred owl. 


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Whidbey Institute
P.O. Box 57
Clinton, WA 98236

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