Earlier this month, the City of Oak Harbor revealed their final design plans for a revitalized Windjammer Park. We are excited to announce Windjammer will include 27 sizable Garry oak saplings to be planted throughout the park in excellent locations. Additionally, at a later date the Garry Oak Society will donate and plant a number of oak seedlings to take that number even higher. This will substantially increase the number of Garry oaks in the park, up from only two existing mature Garry oaks.
Windjammer Park Phase 1 Artistic Planting Mockup
Purple – 27 sizable Garry oaks to be planted.
Red – Existing Garry oak near Windmill.
Green – Other park trees and shrubs.
The Garry oak is the only native oak of Washington state. It has suffered greatly over the past 150 years, losing around 98% of its habitat to deforestation and development. These special trees provide crucial habitat to many plants and animals, some of which have become increasingly rare or nearly extinct such as the Western Bluebird. As the namesake tree of Oak Harbor, the Garry oaks add significant scenic and ecological value to our community.
Throughout the park planning process, Society volunteers attended public open houses and submitted comments encouraging the designers to incorporate Garry oaks. When the preliminary plans were released, the Society worked constructively with city leaders and staff to improve the design for the park trees which will result in substantial benefits that include:
- Reduced park maintenance costs.
- Enhanced longevity of selected park trees.
- Mitigated threats to future Garry oak conservation efforts.
- Increased the number of Garry oaks to be included throughout the park.
- Created a unique urban oak savanna for our community to enjoy.
Well done Garry Oak Society and City of Oak Harbor! Together, we are planting a legacy our community will love for hundreds of years to come.