2013 Garden Tour Acknowledgements

We had a fantastic SIXTH ANNUAL CAMANO ISLAND BACKYARD WILDLIFE HABITAT GARDEN TOUR! We figure more than 300 people attended. Special thanks go to

Shawn Brown for taking the lead to make it happen. She deserves countless thanks for her leadership with finding gardens, coordinating the gardeners and volunteers, and creating signage to make the tour more than a stroll in the garden, but an educational opportunity for learning how to live in harmony with nature.

Continued thanks must always go to Sandy Koffman, who took the leap six years ago to make our garden tour dream into a fabulous SHOW and TELL reality. 

She provided a garden tour framework that has made it doable to jump in and continue the tradition.

Another round of thank yous to Roxie Rochat, who has become our Photoshop and mapmaker pro, which enabled people to arrive at all the gardens and learn lots! Roxie's ability to create the fliers, poster, the brochure, program and restaurant guides made the tour accessible to the participants. 

Thanks also go to Dan Koffman, who created the original fliers, poster, and maps for our continued tweaking! 

Special thanks to Karen Gardener and Don Varekamp; Jean Markham; Joe and Barbara Garnett; Jim and Karen Bruce; Dale and Wiltrud Kinhart; and Donna and Troy Wilson for including their gardens on the tour. Opening their gardens to the public really helped spread the Camano Wildlife Habitat’s Project vision of Creating an Island in Harmony with Nature — One Yard at a Time.

Many thanks to the Habitat Stewards helping with the gardens and parking on the tour day — Carol Austin, Dave Baumchen, Kevin Brown, Pam Fredericksen, Carol Gillespie, Jerry Nielsen, Gail Nilsson, Rand Nilsson, Pam Pritzl, Bev Reaume, Barbara Riffle, Roxie Rochat, Lane Rowell, and Sole Switzer. 


More thanks for the extra help from certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat volunteers and FOCIP members:  Annie Bratun, Bob Brown, Tricia Chieppa, Marge Froiland, Janet Kramer, Kim Rochat, Alice Turner, and Carl Turner.



To help lead people to the Camano Multipurpose Center and the gardens, thanks go to Jerry Nielsen and Bob Brown, who made and placed the road and garden signs. Jean Bach’s work with publicity brought people in from all over the island, the Puget Sound area, the nation (Arizona, California, and Oregon), and the world (Canada). Thanks also to Linda Webb and the Kinharts for sharing their gardens to the press for promotional feature stories in The Daily Herald and Stanwood Camano News.

With all this work, the volunteer garden tour the following day was a day to celebrate. Sole Switzer made everything look special. Thanks also to gardeners Barb and Joe Garnett for hosting the garden party, and thanks to all of the volunteers who contributed goodies for the event after a day of volunteering in the gardens.

For a volunteer-intense event, it all worked great! Everyone seemed pleased. At the blue building, I had all I could do to hold onto the maps to give participants a Backyard Wildlife spiel before they ripped the maps out of my hands to get going! Jean Bach and Lael Bradshaw also both jumped into spreading our Backyard Wildlife message before anyone received a map. Two properties were certified during the event. Camano Island now has 807 certified wildlife habitats and 9 certified neighborhoods.

So...after always wanting to have a garden tour and wanting the event to continue, thanks to Shawn and a whole lot of others, we did it! It really is a great way to reach a lot of people to SHOW how great it is to share space with the wildlife! THANK YOU!!!!

-Val Shroeder