A gift worthy of remembrance | Editorial

Whidbey Camano Land Trust, with a lot of help from property owner Beatrice Morgan, enjoyed another success last week when it announced the 90-year-old, longtime Oak Harbor resident has donated a quarter mile of beach property to the land trust for public use.

The beautiful West Beach property totals 16.5 acres of beach and tidelands that will now be in the public domain forever. It was a wonderful gift to the community from someone who clearly loves Whidbey Island and wants to help future generations enjoy its beauty.

The donated land provides a link to two other public beaches, extending public access to two miles in the area. There will never be any “no trespassing” or “private beach” signs, no matter how much Whidbey Island’s population may grow in the future.

However, one simple, discreet sign may be appropriate. Something like “Beatrice Morgan Beach,” would be an appropriate reminder to future generations that this gift was made by a single individual, and it may encourage others in similar situations to do the same. With public purse strings so tight, gifts of open space, beach access and tideland properties are the best way to preserve such lands.

Besides, attaching names to donated property is a long tradition that should be kept alive. It keeps important family names in the public’s memory and might pique an interest in local history. Examples are more plentiful on South Whidbey than North and Central, perhaps because public lands are so scarce there. There’s Dave Mackie Park at Maxwelton, Dan Porter Park in Clinton and Phil Simon Park in Langley, and, most recently, Marguerite Brons Memorial Park in Bayview. Some of the names can be found in local history books, others live on in family stories and shared memories, but all are important names from our own history that can inspire future generations.

Some people scoff at efforts to preserve Whidbey’s beauty, particularly in dire economic times. After all, aren’t we removing land from the tax rolls? Nothing could be more short-sighted. We’re fortunate to have the Whidbey Camano Land Trust around to remind us that there is a long future ahead of us, and people not yet born who will need a place to enjoy the wonders of nature for personal fulfillment. Thanks to the land trust and people like Beatrice Morgan, we’re making progress toward that goal.






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