“We love the mission of IslandWood to give every kid the opportunity to explore and celebrate the outdoors.”
As shared by Franny Wood, with stories from multiple generations of the Wood family
Could you share a bit about your family’s history and connection to Bainbridge Island?
In 1906, a few members of the Wood family came to Bainbridge Island and purchased property on Yeomalt Point. After some time, they began building small cabins. There were no roads on Bainbridge Island, only the Mosquito Fleet boardwalk that went around the island. Lumber packages were delivered on barges and the cabins were built with hammers, handsaws, and nails. During World War II, the cabins and houses that had been built were rented out to the Navy. Service members stationed at the Bremerton base would stay at the houses erected by the Wood family.
After WWII, great grandmother Wood managed the property and kept it up so that it could be passed down. Since then, our extended family has been staying at Yeomalt, enjoying the amazing PNW beaches, bon fires, and most importantly, time as a family. If we were all able to gather there right now, I think that at this point there would be over 50 of us!
How did you first hear about IslandWood?
My dad’s best friend in high school was Tim Karr. His dad, Bob Karr was a huge fan of IslandWood. He told my dad and grandfather all about it, and they all went for a tour of the property. That tour happened during one of the very first sessions of the School Overnight Program.
My cousin heard of IslandWood separately, when her friend was considering attending the graduate program and took her on the tour. She said that she was, “Blown away by the beauty of the campus, the care they take in preserving the land, and all the programs and outreach that takes place there. My memory of that trip has remained strong in my mind and I have wanted to return.”
Do you have any special memories at IslandWood?
My grandfather’s highlight was watching the kids weigh their food before and after their meals! He thought it was just the most amazing way to teach kids about food waste. I think it might have even made him more cognizant of the food waste in his home.
Thirteen members of the larger Wood family joined together to make a gift to IslandWood this December. What inspired you to support IslandWood as a family this year?
We decided as a family that we wanted to give back this year. It was a group effort to choose what organization to donate to, and IslandWood fit so perfectly! We love the mission of IslandWood to give every kid the opportunity to explore and celebrate the outdoors.
I grew up in the Seattle but for weeks each summer I explored the mysteries of the beach, jumped in the ice-cold Puget Sound, pretended to hunt for snakes with my older cousins, and most importantly, spent time outside with my family. I want so badly for every kid to be able to experience nature and the incredible land that is Bainbridge Island. Furthermore, the work that IslandWood is doing around diversity, equity, and inclusion is so important and impactful.