2020 Spring Update

Dear Foundation friends and supporters,

During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the long-term ramifications are certainly being felt by all of us. While many aspects of our daily lives have been put on hold, we are all experiencing a range of emotions about the reality of the situation. Our hearts go out to all those who are faced with difficulties and loss due to this pandemic.

Needless to say, long-planned events recognizing and celebrating this week’s 50th anniversary of Earth Day had to be postponed until a time when we can all connect in person. Meanwhile, we’re hard at work protecting and connecting the systems that sustain all of us. One way we do that is through our community grants program, which is also turning 50 years old this month! Please consider supporting the Foundation’s legacy-building conservation work by donating through this week’s Kitsap Great Give.

We find comfort in knowing that the natural habitat and wildlife at the Rhododendron Preserve is protected thanks to you. Hopefully soon, we will enjoy a much needed visit to the forest, but while Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is in place, the Preserve is closed to the public.

Since we can’t visit the Preserve for our annual spring exploration, board member Amy Lawrence created a Virtual Trillium Walk for you to enjoy. This time of year, the Preserve is bursting with beautiful spring flowers and relaxing sounds. Thanks to Amy we can all connect to our much loved Preserve! And please share with your friends and family on Facebook. We all look forward to the day when the Preserve can once again welcome visitors!

Please know that our dedicated board of directors continues to focus on our mission and is adapting our work to meet the current situation.

  • Board meetings are being held virtually until it is safe to meet in person. We successfully held our first Zoom meeting in April and it was great to see everyone’s faces!
  • Our community grants committee decided to extend the grant selection process so organizations can adapt to closures. Grant winners will be announced in June of 2020.
  • Our preserve committee is working with intern Holly Walter on a mapping project that will display many different sources of data about the Preserve on ArcGIS.
  • Staff is working full-time from home.

These uncertain times remind us of how important your support is to our mission. Now more than ever, your support will sustain the Foundation’s mission and protect the Rhododendron Preserve. If you are able, please make a meaningful gift today.

The Kitsap Great Give is one opportunity, and we would appreciate your support so we can continue our work together – we at the Foundation are committed to a healthy future for everyone.

Thank you for your support,
Jeff Wirtz