It has been a banner year! We are counting the ways you’ve helped make it so exceptional. Together, we’ve achieved these Big Wins, and we thank you.
We expanded our scope:
We’ve adopted a comprehensive approach to keeping farmland thriving forever. Building on our core farmland protection work with landowners, we’re partnering with Pierce County and other organizations on a $10 million grant to find innovative solutions to flood management and long term farmland protection and viability in the Puyallup Valley. We also connected with over 170 farmers to learn more about their land-leasing needs statewide, and how we can support farmers in accessing farmland affordably.
You showed up:
Between plantings and outreach, administrative support and events, you logged over 400 hours of
volunteer work! More than 100 of you helped convert a blackberry-infested creek bed into a healthy waterway. Over 1,200 of you came to our events, and you’re in good company with over 8,000 online community members. We partnered with over 20 organizations across 3 counties, more than 40 brands at PCC Natural Markets, and over 2,400 donors have already given in 2015. Thank you!
We advocated for public prioritization of conservation:
We worked with statewide partners, such as the Washington Association of Land Trusts and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene to address public funding challenges for farmland conservation. We played a leadership role in the Puyallup Watershed Initiative, as well as several other agriculture-centered groups in our focus areas. These efforts have already yielded new funding allocations for farmland conservation easements—a win for everyone!
We’re breaking the mold:
Our staff members presented our innovative techniques and proven finance model all over the west coast. We shared conservation tools for land access and affordability and gained new ideas for expanding these strategies by putting our heads together with leading experts. We’ve adopted a standard of innovation that is allowing us to accelerate and expand our work at record rates.
You helped triple our conservation rate!
In January we closed on Helsing Junction Farm, adding 42 protected acres in Thurston County. Then, in August we shared news of the 36-acre Shelstad Farm in Orting. Now, we’ve just announced our conservation partnership with Harman Farm, for a total of 80 new acres in Pierce County—a new high standard that we know you’ll help us keep up next year, and in the years to come.