Special events throughout 2018 will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the creation of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, a community partnership that has preserved, maintained and enhanced the area’s unique history, rural and agricultural heritage and sweeping natural beauty.
On Nov. 10, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation passed by Congress to establish the nation’s first National Historical Reserve.
Forty years later, the Reserve’s more than 17,500 acres — still mostly privately owned — retain their rural, agricultural heritage and gorgeous views, thanks to a community partnership that includes private land owners, the National Park Service, Washington State Parks, Island County and Town of Coupeville.
The following is a partial list of special events planned to mark the Ebey’s Reserve 40th anniversary:
• Rural Recollections, 6:30 p.m., March 15 at Coupeville Rec Hall. Sponsored by the Island County Historical Society, this oral history event will feature memories and stories, shared by local farmers and local residents about the Reserve’s rural heritage.
• Ebey’s Inspiration, April 6-May 31 at Pacific Northwest Art School in Coupeville. An exhibit of painting, sculpture, photographs and other art that has been inspired by Ebey’s Reserve. Opening reception April 6, 6-8 p.m.
• Ebey’s Reserve FilmSlam, April 13-15. Third annual 50-hour FilmSlam invites you to produce a short film about the Reserve that must include certain surprise elements – some of which will relate to the 40th anniversary.
• National Junior Ranger Day, April 21. This annual event for children and families will celebrate the 40th anniversary with a focus on agriculture and food produced in the Reserve. This event also kicks off National Parks Week.
• Friends of Ebey’s Film Festival, May 5, 4-6 p.m. at Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center. Selected films from Third Annual Ebey’s Landing FilmSlam will be shown on the big screen and prizes will be awarded.
• Ferry House Tours, June 23, July 21 and Aug. 18. Sarah Steen, Reserve preservation coordinator, will lead small-group guided tours of the iconic Ferry House by reservation on three Saturdays this summer. Reservations may be made beginning May 1 through the Trust Board office 360-678-6084.
• Programs celebrating Reserve trails. Throughout the summer look for announcements of special hikes and events.
• Reserve History Exhibit, mid-July through December. The Island County Historical Museum presents a special exhibit about the creation of the Reserve in honor of its 40th anniversary.
• Pratt Sheep Barn Open House, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., July 28. Celebrate the transformation by the National Park Service with support by the Friends of Ebey’s of an historic structure on the Pratt Loop Trail into a classroom space for student groups.
• Picnic on the Prairie, Aug. 25. The Friends of Ebey’s invites the entire Reserve community, far and near, to eat, drink and be merry at a picnic on a farm to celebrate our community and the 40th anniversary of the Reserve.
• Golden Ticket Tour, Aug. 25. The Friends of Ebey’s will host an exclusive fundraising tour of major sites in the Reserve. More information at www.friendsofebeys.org
• The landscape and tribal communities associated with the Reserve, Oct. 18, time and place to be announced. A program by anthropologist Douglas Deur, PhD, Portland State University. Sponsored by the Town of Coupeville.
• 40th Anniversary film and book. The Trust Board is developing these commemorative items in honor of the anniversary, to be released later in the year.
• Annual Community Potluck, Nov. 9. The 11th annual community potluck at the Crockett Barn will celebrate the formal signing of the legislation on Nov. 10, 1978, and 40 years of community partnership.