Vision Blog

How do you imagine our future here in the San Juans?  We invite you to share your thoughts, hopes, dreams, fantasies, and aspirations on this blog.  Launching our visions is the first step in creating the future we want….




  1. I can imagine a time coming of regionally-based eating that makes the preparation of food into a daily adventure, much more ingredient- than recipe-driven. In this ideal future, everyone takes their carbon footprint seriously and strives to keep it as low as possible for the good of all. Scott’s idea of our Salish Sea partners has come to pass and we now have large sailboats traversing our local waters delivering goods and food from our neighbors on the Olympic Peninsula, Vancouver and the Gulf Islands, Whatcom County, Whidbey Island, as far south as Seattle and as far east as the Skagit Valley. Along with our common ecosystem, we have strong, shared values, such as a reliance on organic farming and a prohibition of GMO seeds. Most people on Lopez grow their own food, buy produce at the farmers markets (now one in the Southend as well as the Village) or visit the farmstands directly. There are agriculture festivals all year round and an active agro-tourism that encourages visitors to participate in what each season brings. We have identified the various crops that grow best in our Salish Sea region and restaurants and consumers have found creative and delicious ways to use all this abundance. Can’t you see this magnificent future unfurling before us?

  2. I see a fleet of golf carts waiting at the ferry for anyone who wants to use it during their stay on Lopez. The engine runs on sea water and the by-products are distilled water and salt.
    The center of the village is a large flower garden with plenty of room for picnic-ers and a fountain in the center. Across the lawn from the flower garden is a stage for summer concerts and late night outdoor movies and Shakespeare in the park. Maybe there’s an indoor theatre too for the cold, dark months. Maybe we attract some of the greatest musicians, dancers, actors, and oddball performers of the world.
    On the edge of this park is a large cafe and public kitchen. Anyone can throw on an apron, wash their hands and whip up a treat. Locals bring their extra garden produce and gleaners come with baskets filled, ready for cooking fresh or preserving for later. Saturday is sticky bun day and Sunday mornings someone makes doughnuts, all made with organic Lopez wheat. The cafe is pay on donation, and a donation can be washing dishes or bookkeeping.
    Our community works together to grow staple crops wherever there’s some free space. Grazing animals and chickens are rotated around the island wherever fertility is needed. Beehives are maintained wherever pollinating is needed. Water from our golf carts is used to water all the plants. Sea salt from the golf carts is used in the community salt water pool and hot tubs.
    Education begins with learning letter, numbers, and music notes. After that, each person decides how to follow their interests. Most learning happens on-the-job: building, gardening, fixing tools at the tool library or bike shop, putting on a show, planning a party, running the cafe, organizing the young kids… there’s always something to do and friends to do it with and we take care of each other, we enjoy life whatever our current activity, work and play and rest are in perfect balance.

  3. As a longtime (>20 years) committed and active environmentalist I have come to certain, uncomfortable conclusions about what we all are doing to the life support systems on this small cosmic island. I believe that one thing that separates us from most other higher life forms is a heightened responsibility toward morality. True morality must be bio-centric (altruistic) irrespective of specific goals and it must follow natural law. E.O Wilson has said that our species has an emotional base from the Pleistocene and a mindset from the 12th century. This combination drives our quest for self-extinction (along with many other species). I have come to the realization that every human has a carbon footprint and even death will use an amount of natural resources. The only true action we can take is to focus on our individual actions and try to be less a part of the problem. This has become the mantra for my life. As a member of several groups, Transitions being one, I promote the idea of critical thinking and facing the impact of our individual choices. Going back to E.O Wilson (and Mark Twain) I find a wall built of the hardest stone toward this idea. We cannot change others but we can try to plant seeds. When the seeds don’t germinate one must try somewhere else in more fertile soil. We live on an island and some, unfortunately, assume the world is a macrocosm of us; it is not. It is immoral to concentrate on the worsening environmental situations impact on our own species & how we can accommodate more of us rather than take a more holistic approach. The lack of an inclusive rhetoric will doom us and many other species as is presently happening. Resilience should not just be about us but future generations of all life.

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