Whidbey organizations offer outdoor volunteer opportunities

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust and the Whidbey Institute both have events this Saturday, June 19.

Recreation isn’t the only way to get outside and enjoy Whidbey Island’s idyllic natural beauty this summer — local organizations are sponsoring outdoor volunteer opportunities across the island.

Whidbey Camano Land Trust is holding work parties in June at some of its nature preserves. The next one is June 19 at the Trillium Community Forest Trail.

Taylor Schmuki, a land trust stewardship technician, said volunteers will be working on trail maintenance projects.

The land trust is also holding events at Crockett Lake June 22 and 28. Volunteers will help remove hairy willow herb, a noxious weed that has infested the area.

“These things create monocultures, and they can out-compete native plants which are important for wildlife habitat,” Stewardship Specialist Kyle Ostermick-Durkee said.

If volunteering sounds like something you’re interested in, “come out, give it a try and don’t be afraid to ask questions,” Schumki said.

Volunteers can sign up for work parties at www.wclt.org/volunteer-opportunities.

The Whidbey Institute is also hosting outdoor volunteer events this summer. From 10 a.m. to noon every Thursday through October, volunteers can pull weeds, harvest plants and maintain plant beds at the Whidbey Institute Westgarden in Clinton.

Whidbey Institute volunteer lead Marta Mulholland said the Westgarden work parties are an opportunity to learn about herbs and medicinal plants from garden steward Jules LeDrew.

The institute also sponsors an “adopt a trail” program, in which people can take stewardship over a section of trail at the Whidbey Institute and service and maintain it on their own time.

Walking and caring for a section of trail allows volunteers to develop “a more intimate level of association with the land,” said Mulholland.

The institute will host full volunteer days 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 19 and July 7 for people to participate in preservation projects.

Anyone interested in these or other volunteer events through the Whidbey Institute can RSVP to Mulholland at marta@ whidbeyinstitute.org.

“We at the Whidbey Institute deeply appreciate the volunteer support,” Mulholland said.

Bob Payton helps clear a new trail at Strawberry Point Preserve Trail. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)

Bob Payton helps clear a new trail at Strawberry Point Preserve Trail. (Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times)