Our Mission

Since 2015, the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society has been committed to the stewardship of Garry Oak Trees on Whidbey Island through outreach, education, and preservation.

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About the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society

Society members at the annual Smith Park potluck in July.

Learn More About The Society’s Work In Three Core Stewardship Areas

Garry Oak Outreach
Outreach
Garry Oak Education
Education
Garry Oak Preservation
Preservation

Upcoming Events

Meetings Postponed | COVID-19

June 9 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Stories From the Society Blog

The Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which means your donations and gifts are tax deductible.

Timeline and Accomplishments of the Society

Winter

  • Oak Harbor Native Plant Garden and Smith Park mulched for spring.
  • Shooting stars planted in the lawn at Smith Park.
  • Eight Garry oaks planted at Oak Harbor Intermediate School with OHHS Key Club.

Winter

  • Volunteers staffed second annual outreach and sales booth at Sound Waters University at South Whidbey High School. Our booth saw a lot of traffic from people all over Whidbey and beyond.
  • Classroom education, All About Garry Oaks, was taught by an OHGOS volunteer in three classes at Broadview Elementary School, totaling 84 students. This effort later culminated in Garry oak planting at the school campus native plant garden. One new seedling to their campus was added.

Spring

  • OHGOS co-hosted field trip with Oak Harbor Parks at Smith Park for 75 Home Connection students. The students were taught a condensed version of All About Garry Oaks.
  • Volunteers staffed a Garry Oak education table at the well-attended Easter Egg Hunt in Smith Park.
  • Volunteers staffed outreach and sales booth for 3-day Holland Happening event.
  • Garry Oak multi-media art displayed for the month at Oak Harbor Library.
  • OHGOS field trip for Prairie Appreciation Days in the south Puget Sound. Glacial Heritage Preserve and Mima Mounds were visited.

Summer

  • Classroom education, All About Garry Oaks, was taught by an OHGOS volunteer in a class at Olympic View Elementary School, totaling 30 students, who also participated in acorn planting. Each student planted an acorn. All but one of those acorns sprouted, and await planting.
  • OHGOS volunteers pressure washed and painted a base coat on the building wall for the Garry oak mural, which OHGOS also partially funded. Once mural painting was complete, OHGOS volunteers applied a clear coat for protection of the mural.
  • First ever OHGOS scholarship awarded to OHGOS member and 0HHS Senior, Autumn Coker, in the amount of $500.00.
  • Third annual potluck party hosted by OHGOS in Smith Park.
  • Volunteers staffed OHGOS outreach booth for Outdoor Family Discovery Days at Fort Casey State Park. This event was in partnership with Sound Waters, Whidbey Conservation District, and State Parks.

Fall

  • Volunteers staffed 0HGOS outreach and sales booth at three-day music fest event. OHGOS volunteers staffed outreach and sales booth at Westland distillery for the 2019 Garryana whiskey release.
  • OHGOS invited as guest speaker at WSU Ext. Master Gardener’s monthly meeting, attended by 50 Master Gardener members.
  • 6 Garry oak seedlings were planted by OHGOS volunteers in Joseph Whidbey State Park near the previously planted oaks. This event was in partnership with Hillcrest Elementary staff, students, and parents.
  • OHGOS lobbied Oak Harbor City Parks Board for proposal of deferred mowing policy in Smith Park which was unanimously approved.
  • OHGOS achieved goal of fall planting campaign in Oak Harbor parks. 27 Garry Oak seedlings were planted in total, all of them were provided cage protection. Wooden cages were built by OHGOS volunteers.
  • All about Garry Oaks class taught at Oak Harbor’s Sno-Isle Library, attended by 20 members of the public.
  • OHGOS invited as guest speaker at OHHS Key Club meeting, attended by roughly 60 students, plus staff members.

Winter

  • Island Thrift generously provides a grant to the society for our Legacy Oak Project.
  • Society members present on Garry oaks at Sound Water Stewards University.
  • Power Point Presentation on Smith Park/OHGOS given to City Council.
  • Helped with improvements to Smith Park undertaken in partnership with City of Oak Harbor with installation of new name signage and interpretive signage. First GO tree replanting in the park undertaken by OHGOS as well as the start of native plant restoration at the site. (City of Oak Harbor undertook major pruning to clean up deadwood in park.)
  • Attended meetings with City of Oak Harbor Parks Department regarding Windjammer Park planting plan. Successfully lobbied for the removal in the planting plan of non-native Regal Prince Oak trees and elm trees, and increased number of native Garry Oak Trees in Windjammer Park.

Spring

  • Broadview Elementary students enjoy after school oak enrichment education. Lessons plans written for future use.
  • Society restores many native plants to Smith Park’s Garry oak understory.
  • Provided ongoing care of Native Garden at Post Office garden as well installation of name signs and increased number of native plants planted.
  • Led 6-week After School Enrichment Program, titled All About Garry Oaks, with a dozen
  • Staffed OHGOS outreach booth for Holland Happening weekend.
  • Arbor Day Garry oak planting (phase I) at Freund Marsh Trail. Also for Arbor Day, led Nature Walk.
  • Removed invasive Scotch broom at Navy’s Oak Crest site.

Summer

  • Society continues to build on our partnership with the US Navy in Oak Harbor.
  • Whidbey TV video crew films upcoming short about Garry oaks and the Society.
  • Society wins first legislative victory with the unanimous City Council vote to enhance Tree Protection Code.
  • Taped interview for Curious Islander video featuring Oak Harbor’s Garry Oak Trees.
  • Power Point Presentation on Native Garden/OHGOS given to Oak Harbor Parks Board and City Council.
  • Hosted second annual OHGOS Potluck Party in Smith Park.
  • Provided strong presence at multiple meetings of the Oak Harbor City Planning Commission and Oak Harbor City Council regarding the need for new language in Garry Oak tree protection code.
  • Successful legislative victory for Code enhancement regarding protection of Garry Oak trees during building and construction and prohibiting invasive English ivy on oak trees.
  • Staffed OHGOS outreach booth for Music Fest weekend.

Fall

  • Removed extensive English ivy from mature Midway Boulevard oak tree that was near death.
  • Acorn planting in pots accomplished using new taller nursery pots.
  • Conducted major planting projects: Navy’s Oak Crest site, Joseph Whidbey State Park and Freund Marsh Trail.
  • Implementation of phase 2 of Native Plant Garden. Draft of interpretive signs written.
  • Donated Garry oak seedlings for planting in Windjammer Park.
  • Provided oak seedlings for planting in the Swinomish Tribal cemetery in Oak Harbor.
  • Continued volunteer woodworkers as “guest artists” status at Garry Oak Gallery with all sale proceeds going back into OHGOS.
  • Implementation of education segment of Garry oak Legacy Project by purchasing oak-related books, compiling lesson plans, and creating Garry oak specimen collection boxes to donate to all schools in Oak Harbor.
  • Acorn Legacy Scholarship created for qualifying OHHS senior.
  • As of Nov. 14, 2018, our total sales income from the Garry Oak Gallery in the last 2 years come to $3,371.92! Our total volunteer hours come to 1,263!

Winter

  • Society formally adopts the Oak Harbor Post Office Native Plant Garden.
  • Clearing, mulching, and planting in the Native Garden makes great progress.

Spring

  • Members conduct Garry oak walking tour in celebration of native plant week.
  • Society provides protection for transplanted oaks at Oak Harbor Marina.

Summer

  • Oak Harbor City Council encouraged to enhance and clarify oak protection code.
  • The society conducts community outreach at the Oak Harbor Music Festival.

Fall

  • Garry oak mapping begins using city tree inventory data.
  • Elementary school kids enjoy learning about Garry oaks in Smith Park.
  • New park signs unveiled in Smith Park and at the Native Plant Garden.

Spring & Summer

  • Oak essay contest with Whidbey News Times, winners receive Garry oak trees.
  • Partnership with Navy to care for last remaining oak savannah on Whidbey Island.
  • The society becomes an official 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Fall

  • 32 Garry oak trees planted creating 12.5 acres of habitat along Regatta Dr.
  • 17 Garry oaks planted at Navy Lodge, King 5 feature story.
  • The society begins work cleaning up the Post Office Native Plant Garden.

Spring & Summer

  • Society founded, first oaks planted.
  • Outreach begins to protect existing oaks.

Fall

  • Hundreds of acorns planted at fall planting party.
  • Society members help plant Oak Harbor Centennial Grove.
Garry Oak Society Mascot

“Garry” the society mascot!

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

A Garry oak tree seedling grows from an acorn in Oak Harbor.