Bloedel Reserve tweaks its approach to ensure future

The nonprofit Bloedel Reserve is in the midst of completing a strategic plan in an effort to better maintain what it’s all about – gardens and grounds.

The nonprofit Bloedel Reserve is in the midst of completing a strategic plan in an effort to better maintain what it’s all about – gardens and grounds.

The public has had much to do with the effort, having donated $2.5 million during the last two years as part of an endowment fundraising campaign.

The campaign, which was named after Reserve founder Richard Brown, successfully ended last month with more than 140 donors makings gifts ranging from $50 to six figures, said Executive Director Ed Moydell.

Initiated by declining gate receipts, the endowment will be used to pay the director’s salary and office costs, freeing up monies to ensure the financial health of the 150-acre garden.

The original $10 million endowment was established by Prentice and Virgina Bloedel in 1994, and is now at $17.5 million with accrued interest and stock market gains, said Moydell, who became the 501(c)3 nonprofit’s executive director in 2010.

“This new endowment makes us more financially stable and allows us to focus on doing things that will improve the Reserve,” he said. “As a result, we are able to improve the gardens and make them even more accessible to the public.”

The Bainbridge Island tourist attraction now has 20 full-time equivalent employes, half of whom are horticulturists. The total staff is now at 23.

In an effort to make Bloedel more community friendly, it is no longer taking reservations, though it has bumped up its entrance fee slightly for adults.

It also is making an effort to attract more islanders and families. It had a 12 percent increase in attendance in 2010 over the previous year, thanks in part to a Holiday Village event in December that was a huge success.

Two other new events are the Japanese Horticulture and Culture Festival and its first annual Plant Sale in April, which drew a record 3,200 people to the Reserve over a weekend.

“We are working hard to attract a wide variety of audience with new special events,” Moydell said. “We particularly want to see more children and famlies strolling our gardens.”

Moydell said the core program will continue to be the summer concerts and performances, lectures and family activities.

“We have realized we need to do more family things along with continuing to build on making this beautiful place more beautiful,” he said.

More in Business

Far Bank Enterprises acquires Oregon-based fly fishing travel company

Far Bank Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of Sage Fly Fishing, Redington,… Continue reading

New leadership comes to Kitsap News Group

The Kitsap News Group, owned by Sound Publishing, recently announced leadership changes… Continue reading

Bainbridge Brewing expands with new alehouse in Winslow

Bainbridge Brewing will soon be opening a new second location on Bainbridge… Continue reading

Melt Massage + Body opens new location on Bainbridge Island

Urban Renaissance Group recently announced the grand opening of Melt Massage +… Continue reading

Paws Fins Pet Shop, First Federal open new retail locations at Island Village Shopping Center

One addition and one relocation are set to alter the business landscape… Continue reading

Need help with tax returns? Assistance is nearby

Free service available in six county towns until April 15.

New brokers at Coldwell Banker Bain

Two new brokers have joined the team of Coldwell Banker Bain of… Continue reading

Tales of an antiquarian: Island expert marks five years of business on Bainbridge

Even a cursory tour through Pastiche Antiques in the company of Denis… Continue reading

New broker joins team at Coldwell Banker Bain

Longtime Bainbridge Island resident and community member Matt Makowicz has joined the… Continue reading

Outdoor independence, survival skills on sale at BIO+D

Everything in here is about getting you out there. Or, if you… Continue reading

An Rx of the right stuff: Bainbridge Island’s newest pharmacy is open for business

A prescription for some knowledge: According to Merriam-Webster, the “R” in “Rx”… Continue reading