The Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society aims to educate the community about the Garry oak tree. We maintain the Garry Oak & Native Plant Interpretive Garden at the Oak Harbor Post Office so that the public can enjoy and learn to identify many species of local plants, including the Garry Oak. Our members have worked with the Oak Harbor Parks Board to assist in the development of interpretive signs at Smith Park for educating the public about the venerable old park. We have also work with local schools to educate students about the Garry oak through oak planting events.

Garry Oak Interpretive Garden

Oak Harbor Post Office Garry Oak Native Plant GardenThe Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society committed in late 2016 to preserve and enhance the landscaping and educational elements of the Garry Oak Interpretive Garden which is located adjacent to the Oak Harbor Post Office. Planted by Melissa Duffy and members of Harbor Pride in the 90’s when the largest Garry oak in town towered over the Post Office, in recent years the grand old oak was lost and the garden languished.

Oak Harbor Garry Oak Native Plant GardenSociety volunteers began by weeding and mulching the garden, creating a clear path forward. With generous community support, additional native plants were added. It’s amazing how many native plant species you can enjoy in this pocket park! Native plant identification signs were installed in the garden in late 2017. Spring is a great time to visit the garden when the wildflowers are in bloom, but there’s always something neat to look at anytime of year. If you would like to volunteer to work in the garden or have native plants to donate, please get in touch with us!

Special thanks to the Pacific Rim Institute for generously donating new native plants for the garden, Pioneer Tree Service for donating bark mulch to help keep the weeds down, and private individuals who donated additional native plants. This has been a community effort and we appreciate everyone who has given their time and resources to make this garden shine once again!

Garry Oak Planting and Education for Students

Arbor Day Tree Planting at Crescent Harbor Elementary School 2016


Crescent Harbor Elementary essay contest winners from the third grade class of Debra Rusnak get ready to plant their new Garry oak tree.


Debra Rusnak and her class water their Garry oak sapling.


Putting their backs into in it!

Arbor Day oak tree planting at Hillcrest Elementary School 2015

Hillcrest Elementary GO planting April 2015- sm. group

Hillcrest Elementary GO planting April 2015-lg. group

The fifth grade class of Heather Fakkema- Hovde pose after planting their Garry oak seedling.

Essay Contest

garry-oak-essay-contestAs part of our 2016 Arbor Day celebration and in collaboration with the Whidbey News Times, the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society held a Garry oak essay contest. Participants were encouraged to write about their favorite Garry oak tree and why they would like to plant a tree. Each of the five winners received a ten year old Garry oak sapling that have all been planted on Whidbey Island. Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their passion for the Garry oak, we loved reading your submissions!

Read Essay Contest Submissions