2017 Garden Tour Acknowledgements

We had a fantastic TENTH ANNUAL CAMANO ISLAND BACKYARD WILDLIFE HABITAT GARDEN TOUR! We know more than 300 people attended. Special thanks go to Bev Reaume for taking the lead once again to make it happen. She deserves countless thanks for her leadership with finding gardens and coordinating the gardeners and volunteers to make the tour more than a stroll in the garden, but an educational opportunity for learning how to live in harmony with nature. Pilar Galup deserves added thanks for assisting with finding gardens, working with the gardeners, and developing our new garden tour banner that was displayed at Terry’s Corner.

Another round of thank yous to Roxie Rochat for creating marketing materials, and especially for being 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 map, program and restaurant guides made the tour accessible to the participants. She also took the lead on the educational signage displayed at the gardens.

Thanks also go to Dan Koffman, who created the original fliers, poster, and maps for our continued tweaking! Special thanks go to Susan Cohen Thompson for the use of her artwork. We placed 100 posters around the area, thanks to Pilar Galup, Carol Gillespie, Lisa Lewis, Bev Reaume, and Roxie Rochat.

Extra special thanks go to Len Hoover, Chris and Charmaine Smith, Rich and Cathy Kolins, and St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, coordinated by Judy Mieger, for including their gardens on the tour. Opening their gardens to the public really helped spread the Camano Wildlife Habitat Project’s 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 — Dave Baumchen, LaLee Burrill, Pilar Galup, Carol Gillespie, Franni Herrgott, Shirley Hutchison, Gail Nilsson, Bev Reaume, Roxie Rochat, Carl Turner, Linda Webb, and Kathryn Wells

More thanks for the extra help from certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat volunteers and FOCIP members: Jeanie Garrioch, Cathryn Hodl, Teri McLachlan, Nancy Merklinghaus, Judy Mieger, Kim Rochat, Donna Watson, and Dorothy Willet.

To help lead people to the Camano Multipurpose Center and the gardens, thanks go to Jerry Nielsen, who placed the road and garden signs.

With all this work, the volunteer garden tour the following day was a day to celebrate. Bev Reaume and Roxie Rochat coordinated the garden party that was hosted by Chris and Charmaine Smith, which gave us a lovely Backyard Wildlife Habitat to relax in after touring the gardens. Even more thanks extended 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, we had all we could do to hold onto the maps to give participants a Backyard Wildlife spiel before they ripped the maps out of our hands to get going! Lisa Lewis joined me in spreading our Backyard Wildlife message before anyone received a map. Janet Kramer helped us explain our message and sold the new Camano Wildlife Habitat yard signs and Exploring Camano Island: A History and Guide, which has a chapter devoted to Camano’s habitat project. (The proceeds of the book go to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust’s efforts to preserve Barnum Point.)

So...after always wanting to have a garden tour and wanting the event to continue, thanks to Bev 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! Camano Island now has 894 certified wildlife habitats and 9 certified neighborhoods. THANK YOU!!!!