Harvest time is upon us. Gratefully, we see the acorn harvest this year compared to last year has been especially plentiful! Our group has been busy collecting acorns and planting them in tall pots for future planting projects.

Beyond acorns, we have also collected Garry oak twigs, pieces of bark, lichens and mosses, leaves, and selected small cross-sections of wood. All these specimens will be carefully placed in labeled boxes for school children. This endeavor is part of our Legacy Garry Oak project, partially funded by an Island Thrift grant. Along with the specimen boxes we are donating oak-related books to each school in the Oak Harbor public school district as well as several private schools. The boxes and books will be presented to Oak Harbor librarians November 19. Our goal is to provide a way for all students to learn about our native trees and the importance of Garry Oak tree conservation.

In late September we had had several major planting events. At Freund Marsh Trail, phase 2, nine trees were planted, which joined the nine previously planted. Joseph Whidbey State Park, five trees, joining four existing saplings. Our group donated 39 Garry oak seedlings to be planted by the City around the newly configured Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor. We are in the process of donating dozens of trees for planting at the planned Skagit Tribal internment site. This private site is just uphill from the Native Garden at the Post Office in the heart of Oak Harbor. All of the described plantings will help to increase critically needed habitat corridors on the Island.

If you have not yet met the friendly folks at Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society, please consider joining us for a monthly meeting. Our upcoming meeting will be at 6:30 PM at the Oak Harbor Fire Department meeting room located at 855 E. Whidbey Ave. on Tues., Nov. 13th.

Lastly, we are excited to share a video featuring Garry oaks produced by local TV production company, Whidbey TV, made possible via Whidbey Telecom. The segment is called The Curious Islander, and highlights the special and unique aspects of Whidbey’s native tree and why conservation in our communities is so important. For now, you can access the Curious Islander video segment online via Vimeo or facebook, and we hope to have it embedded or permanently linked to our website in the near future. Stay tuned!