For many Whidbey residents, Ebey’s Landing is beloved not only for its scenic beauty, but for its symbolism of a legacy of heritage, preservation and community.
Alix Roos considers it to be as important to the world as it is to her family, whose ancestors settled in Coupeville in the 1890s.
“I have a big family history on the island,” she said.
In an effort to contribute to the area’s perpetual preservation, Roos joined the Friends of Ebey’s, a fundraising group of which she is now the executive director.
Friends of Ebey’s will host its annual fundraising picnic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at the Pacific Rim Institute.
The event will include a locally sourced meal provided by Serendipity Catering, beverages including beer and wine, old-fashioned games like a Rockwell bean bag toss, a chance to take a photo with Isaac Ebey, a raffle and a tour of the prairie.
Tickets cost $75 per person and can be purchased at bayleaf, Blooms Tasting Room or FriendsofEbeys.org
Friends of Ebey’s was formed in 2013 in order to assist in raising funds to support Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Roos noted that the Reserve has a matching grant program, which matches funds raised up to $50,000.
At last year’s picnic, Friends of Ebey’s raised approximately $10,000.
The Reserve helps to fund projects such as rehabilitating buildings and maintaining the landscape, as well as educational projects.
According to the Friends of Ebey’s website, 85 percent of the Reserve’s landscape, which consists of 17,572 acres, is privately owned, making it the responsibility of its residents and community members to maintain its character.
Roos noted that it is the only historical reserve of its kind in the United States.
It is important on many levels, Roos said, environmentally, economically and historically.
“It’s a big effort and I think we all benefit from it in so many different ways,” she said.
“It’s part of what drew us to move to the island,” said Vicky Reyes, treasurer for Friends of Ebey’s, who moved to the island in 2010.
“My heart lies in the Reserve,” she added.