Feeling like some good news in the midst of a chaotic week? We hope this brightens your day!
We are pleased to announce the completion of a historic and meaningful addition to Westwind, which has been in the works for the last two years as part of a grant-funded project titled “The Story of Life as Told by Water”. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, grant funds had been set aside and allocated for this sculpture, which is part of a larger project to help tell the story of Westwind’s landscape. Eventually, funds from this grant will also support improvements to our trail systems including a new “Watershed Trail” and improvements to the McIver Learning Center to support Westwind’s environmental learning, art, and naturalist programs.
We are pleased to share the completion of the educational sculpture which is entitled “The Story of Life as Told by Water”. The cedar sculpture was inspired and crafted by artist Jeffrey Michael Samudosky and is dedicated to the founders of Westwind Stewardship Group, Melany and Duncan Berry, as well as all the other many passionate and caring stewards of this beautiful place, including the YWCA and Westwind’s original native inhabitants, the Nechesne people.
We hope it offers you inspiration and hope, that the landscape will continue to thrive with our you, and our community, as its current stewards!
A note on the sculpture from Westwind Stewardship Group Co-Founders, Duncan and Melany Berry:
Dear Westwind community:
Westwind is a place defined by liquid. Where fresh and salt water move through the land, sea and air, making life itself possible in this wonderful place of un-matched fertility and beauty. It’s what makes Westwind, Westwind…Makes it what we all love.
Dave Hatch, a former Westwind Stewardship Group board member and Siletz Nation tribal member coined the term “The Story of Life as told by Water” and it has become an educational metaphor we use to illuminate the Westwind experience. When an anonymous family foundation generously funded a commemorative sculpture to recognize our efforts as founders of the WSG, (and all those that came before us) we thought “what better unifying thread than these same life giving waters?”
The variety of life that pours through the portal of this alchemical pairing of hydrogen and oxygen molecules is truly a wonder to behold, and this incredible carving by Jeffrey Samudosky captures the spiraling, generous expression of life at Westwind. It depicts the amazing creatures that share this place with us humans. From the bottom of her near-shore seas, to the river, forested uplands and finally her skies. This sculpture, part science lesson, part inspiring art form, was envisioned to be the beginning point for the educational watershed trail that threads from main camp to high meadow and then traces water as it flows down one of Westwind’s tributaries into the estuary, Salmon River, and then back into the sea. It is also a companion to the McIver Learning Center, which will be experiencing new construction in support of art & naturalist programs, when Westwind gets back on its feet post Covid-19.
What a wonderful reminder of that which is enduring, that which will carry us through this challenging time…the nourishing constant of wild places and the heart-beat of nature.
THIS is at the heart of Westwind for us, this dynamic combination of a coastal temperate rain forest watershed, and marine coast line, all in one 3 mile walk. One would be hard put to find another place that contains such wild and convergent habitats as Westwind!
We look forward to seeing the faces of people when they first come across this Story of Life as told by Water piece, and to the generations of hands that will polish a favorite creature with their loving touch.
Here’s to water and all the gifts it gives!
-Duncan and Melany
Westwind is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donate to help support Westwind through the COVID-19 crisis and in turn conserve the Westwind site in perpetuity; foster life-changing outdoor experiences for all children, families and groups; and promote environmental stewardship as a basis for sustainable living.