Happy Winter Solstice!
As we transition to winter we are reminded of change and the different beat of life that comes when days are short and cold rains are common. A recent birding hike at Westwind with Lincoln City Audubon revealed a surprising myriad of bird and insect life for this time of year, including Anna’s hummingbird hunting for insects on the salal. Neat! Just as striking was seeing the abundance of song sparrows, egrets, eagles, gulls and crows. These common birds, flying in relative abundance, speak as much to the conservation journey of Westwind as the rare finds.
Thanks to caring and committed individuals – many of you included – Westwind and its diverse land and seascape is protected by an assortment of creative environmental laws and practices. Westwind is the largest piece of private land within the federally managed and protected Cascade Head Scenic Research Area. It also borders one of Oregon’s five marine reserves, and both of those areas (land and sea) sit within the UN Designated Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve. And for good measure, Westwind itself is guided by a conservation easement owned by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.
It is because of caring individuals with a commitment to the future that Westwind is so well preserved, protected, and cared for.
In the coming year, we plan to study and restore the native upland prairies at Iris Meadow. With volunteer help, we are going to monitor and remove invasives, keep reducing our carbon footprint, and continue beach clean-ups and microplastic removal. And through Stewardship Weekends, Career Tech High School natural resource crews, teen leadership service projects and other volunteer led efforts, we will work together to preserve Westwind’s precious ecosystems. And all of these conservation projects will be reinforced and echoed in the thousands of learning experiences at Outdoor School and Camp Westwind.
We look forward to sharing more about Westwind’s conservation plans and work, and during this ‘shortest’ day of the year let’s think and thank the many stewards before us who worked to protect landscapes like Westwind.
Matt Taylor, Executive Director
P.S. Remember, contributions are tax deductible and make all the difference in keeping Westwind’s future possible. Thank you for your generous gift this holiday season.
|Female Anna’s hummingbird feeding on salal blossoms and insects, Salmon River Estuary at Westwind, 12/15/19
photo courtesy of Steve Laskey
Resident adult bald eagle at Westwind, busy building up the nest for winter, 11/17/19
Recently built (September) monument at the new Cascade Head Interpretive Site, located at Westwind’s Fraser Road entrance area. Monument is a replica of one built in 1970’s celebrating the area’s designation as Biosphere Reserve.
Lower portion of Iris Meadow, an isolated coastal headland prairie that is targeted for restoration. Located at southwestern corner of Westwind property.