News Roundup - Pearl Jam rocks IslandWood/In the vanguard of biodiversity/KiDiMu has designs on CK

Pearl Jam rocks IslandWood

Legendary Seattle rock band Pearl Jam has selected IslandWood for a grant recognizing the Bainbridge outdoor education’s center’s use of renewable energy sources.

IslandWood is one of nine environmental organizations that will receive part of the annual $100,000 Pearl Jam Carbon Portfolio Strategy grant.

“We hope to create new models for businesses like ours who are looking to invest in the future health of our planet and its delicate ecosphere,” Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard said in a statement. “It is part of Pearl Jam’s goal to encourage Northwest businesses and individuals to invest in these and other leading environmental organizations.”

The 225-acre center off Blakely Avenue will use the funds to underwrite its four-day School Overnight Program, which provides hands-on learning and lessons on stewardship projects in their communities, including stream monitoring projects, neighborhood cleanups, wetland restorations and establishing school gardens.

“We’re honored to be recognized by Pearl Jam,” said IslandWood Executive Director Ben Klasky. “Their Carbon Portfolio Strategy demonstrates the kind of environmental and community stewardship we’re working to inspire in the school children and others who visit our campus.”

Originally created to help offset the carbon output produced during the Grammy-award winning band’s world tours, the Carbon Portfolio Strategy now gives Northwest organizations a financial boost to help with innovative work on climate change and clean sources of energy.

Other organizations supported by Pearl Jam’s award include the American Solar Energy Society, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and the Washington Clean Energy Initiative.

The band recognized IslandWood’s work “inspiring lifelong environmental and community stewardship for children and adults” in a letter announcing the recipients of the award.

Over the last year, IslandWood has hosted more than 3,000 children from almost 60 schools in the Puget Sound region during outdoor learning programs.

More than half of these students received scholarship support to attend.

– Tristan Baurick

In the vanguard of biodiversity

Bainbridge Island was selected this week as the site of one of five world-wide pilot projects by the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program, the city announced.

The Bainbridge project will join pilot efforts in Uganda, Ghana, Mexico and Quatar as a demonstration of the effectiveness of biodiversity offsets, which compensate for the impacts of development projects.

“I’m delighted that Bainbridge will serve as a model for this innovative approach to conservation, which links the environmental and economic choices we make in approaching development,” said Mayor Darlene Kordonowy.

The BBOP is a worldwide partnership between private companies, government agencies and conservation experts aimed at identifying opportunities to create biodiversity offsets that support conservation around the world.

Representatives of BBOP visited the island in early June for initial discussions about the project and will return next week for a more in-depth visit and public roundtable discussion on the use of biodiversity offsets and incentives

BBOP will provide advice and technical assistance to the city as it develops incentive-based policies to boost the conservation of forests and other natural areas.

The Community Forestry Commission will host a roundtable discussion at 4 p.m. at City Hall. For more information contact city planner Marja Preston at 842-2552.

– Tristan Baurick

KiDiMu has designs on CK

The Bainbridge Island Kids Discovery Museum is looking to expand by opening a branch in Central Kitsap or Bremerton.

“We want to serve the rest of Kitsap County,” said KiDiMu Executive Director Cheryl Dale. “We’ve had great success here, but Bainbridge Island isn’t accessible to everyone in the county or every income bracket.”

The children’s museum on Madison Avenue celebrated its first anniversary in April. Dale said the facility projected 11,000 visitors for the first year, the actual number was 20,000.

“The need is definitely there,” she said.

KiDiMu was interested in a space in Kitsap Mall in Silverdale, but was outbid by another merchant. Dale then sought the help of Central Kitsap Commissioner Patty Lent, who was recommended to her as a resource in finding a new location.

Lent said she hopes to find a vacant building in the Central Kitsap area that wouldn’t be prohibitively expensive.

“We would like to find them a vacant building,” the commissioner said. “This could be a temporary situation. Later on, when we build the Silverdale Community Campus, we may be able to build something especially for them.”

KiDiMu is an interactive museum that relies on donations and admissions on a 60-40 ratio.

Dale said many children’s museums are owned or operated by the local city government, since they draw tourists to the location.

The city of Bainbridge Island provides a $15,000 subsidy toward the $270,000 yearly budget.

– Charlie Bermant

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