Orcas Island: dream big!

by Hilary Canty

OICF Executive Director

It has been said that the only requirement for a dream is a safe place to rest your head. I would like to think that is a possibility for all who call Orcas home. But we know the island has become unaffordable for many of our neighbors. My guess is you know of folks in your neighborhood, who work at your favorite restaurant, or who provide services for your home who are having challenges making ends meet.

We want to help make it better and we hope you will join us.

Imagine creating a community campus central to Eastsound that could provide affordable rental housing, a Food Bank with a garden, and a Community Resource Center that would help folks connect to essential services and grow a deeper connection to the community.

What a great dream!

With your help, it can become a reality. A coalition of community nonprofits has the opportunity to purchase the 11-acre parcel off of Pea Patch Lane and bordering Enchanted Forest. The parcel has a large wetland so much of it will stay undeveloped (we hope to re-wild the area).

Opal Community Land Trust is planning to build a neighborhood of affordable rental homes, similar to April’s Grove. The site will also become home to the Orcas Community Resource Center and the Orcas Island Food Bank and allow them to expand to meet the growing needs of the community. We hope to provide common areas where folks can come together to learn new skills, work on projects and help each other.

It is a big dream and we are really close to closing on the property. A generous neighbor and the Community Foundation have contributed a $250,000 challenge grant to help get us over the finish line. Every dollar donated through giveorcas.org will be matched dollar for dollar up to $250,000.

I hope you will consider joining the team and becoming a Pea Patch partner. Together we can build a stronger community for all who call Orcas home. If you would like more information or a tour of the property, please contact Hilary Canty at the Orcas Island Community Foundation (hilary@oicf.us), or Lisa Byers of the OPAL Community Land Trust (Lisa@opalclt.org).