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Environmental conference hits fifth year
The April 2 seminar will look at the islands eco-health.
While island environmentalists can claim many victories in the last five years, there is still much more work to do.
Thats the theme of the fifth-annual Bainbridge Environmental Conference on April 2, which aims to express a state of the union on Bainbridge Island and set a vision for the future.
When you look back on the last five years of your life, its natural to look ahead five years, and thats what we intend to do, said Charles Schmid, a member of the Association of Bainbridge Communities, which is co-sponsoring the event with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust.
The conference will focus on whats been accomplished to restore and preserve the islands ecological health.
A documentary film will feature successful efforts to clean up the Vincent Road dump, preserve shorelines and forests through the citys Open Space Commission and efforts to ensure a steady supply of clean water.
Participants will then brainstorm about ways to tackle new environmental issues over the next five years.
The conference will include site tours, including a visit to the reclaimed landfill.
Over 30 years ago, garbage was dumped in the ravine and garbage was just burned, Schmid said. Now that 40-acre sites cleaned. We want people to see that success, and show that there can be more of these stories.
Other site tours include stops at the Close Property wooodlands, and a possible boat ride around Eagle Harbor to highlight efforts to save Pritchard Park and the Hall Property.
Last years conference, which drew 100 participants, highlighted the islands dependence on a finite groundwater supply. Water will again take a prominent place at this years conference.
But there are still many questions, especially with the upcoming drought, Schmid said, foreshadowing discussions about conserving the islands water supply.
We cant get water from other places, so we need to think about our water in the long-term.
The conference begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast served in the foyer of the Bainbridge High School LGI Room. The video begins at 8:30 a.m. with discussions following. Lunch will be provided at 12:30 p.m., with participants setting out for tours afterward. Fees are $15 for registration before March 25 and $25 thereafter. Call the Bainbridge Island Land Trust for more information, at 842-9483.