2021 Annual Bainbridge Island Environmental Conference


Passionate about Bainbridge Island’s forests and wildlife? Want to learn more about the impact of climate change, and what you can do about it? Join city, state, and regional scientists for the free, virtual 2021 Bainbridge Island Environmental Conference! Each Sunday throughout March, we’ll be hosting a community conversation on the research and best practices for stewarding our natural environment in the face of climate change.



Missed the conference? Watch recordings of each session and dive into more resources on our recap page here.

We are thrilled to welcome Hilary Franz, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands, as this year’s keynote speaker.


Learn more about Hilary here →

The Moritani Preserve – Creating a Climate-resilient Forest



The Future of the Grand Forest in a Changing Climate


The Bainbridge Island Tree Tour is a self-guided exploration of several of the unique and beautiful trees on our Island, focused primarily in the downtown area. These trees are all accessible to the public. The Tree Tour is based on the popular tours that were hosted for several years by the Bainbridge History Museum and led by international tree expert Olaf Ribeiro. Much of the information that is provided about these trees comes from those walking tours and from Dr. Ribeiro’s book, Historic, Champion and Unique Trees of Bainbridge Island, WA, which is available at the Bainbridge Library, the Bainbridge History Museum, and Eagle Harbor Books.


In April, we will be adding signs with QR codes that can be used with your smartphone to link to the tree tour, to make accessing the information even easier.


The Tree Tour is a partnership of Sustainable Bainbridge, The Bainbridge Island History Museum, and the City of Bainbridge Island.


Take the Tour →

In this video series, Bainbridge Island Land Trust Staff Members and Washington Department of Natural Resources Stewardship Wildlife Biologist Ken Bevis examine various ideal habitat features found on Land Trust managed properties. Looking to remove invasive plants from a riparian habitat found on your property? Hoping to create wildlife-friendly habitat structures? Watch these videos to learn more!


View the series 

Thank you to the following partners for co-sponsoring the conference.




Welcome to the 2021 Virtual ABC Environmental Conference! In this introductory session we will dive in to the question of how the climate crisis is influencing and will shape our forested landscape.

Presentation of the 2021 Environmental Award to Association of Bainbridge Communities Founder, Charles Schmid presented by Janet Knox



Supporting Our Forests, Now and Into the Future – presented by Hilary Franz, WA State Commissioner of Public Lands


Read Hilary Franz’s bio →



Western Washington Forests in a Changing Climate: What You Need to Know to Make Better Decisions Today – presented by Michael Case of The Nature Conservancy


Michael will present on climate change impacts to western Washington forests and will be identifying some adaptation responses.


Read Michael Case’s bio →



Increasing the resilience of Puget Sound Forests: an island perspective – presented by Derek Churchill, Department of Natural Resources forester and lead Washington forest plan developer


Lowland forests in the Puget Sound region face a challenging future due to climate change, population growth, and increasing wildfire risk. The good news is that our forests are well adapted to change, and many communities are actively stewarding their forests. By understanding and working with the ecology and natural history of our forests, we can enhance the natural resilience of these ecosystems and sustain many of the values and functions we derive from them. In this talk, Derek will outline a set of specific strategies and practices that forest landowners and community members can use to stewards the forests of Bainbridge island. He will also share his experiences from working with small forest landowners and managing community forests on Vashon island over the last 20 years.


Read Derek Churchill’s bio →

Deepen your knowledge by exploring curated articles, videos, and other resources from our speakers here.


Stewarding Your Land: Conversations for Forest Owners


In our second session we will take a closer look at our forest ecology and its stewardship, and how we can make decisions that help support long-term forest health and wildlife habitat in a changing climate.

Silviculture for Changing Puget Sound Lowland Forests – presented by Kirk Hanson, Director of Forestry at Northwest Natural Resource Group


This presentation will address changing forest conditions on Bainbridge Island and basic silvicultural strategies for improving forest resilience in the face of climate change.


Read Kirk Hanson’s bio →



Forest Stewardship and Bainbridge Island Tree Regulations – presented by Nick Snyder, City of Bainbridge Island arborist


Nick will outline COBI tree and vegetation regulations and how they intersect with Forest Stewardship Planning for the future of our Community Forest.


Read Nick Snyder’s bio →



Build it and They Will Come: Managing Habitat to Sustain our Island’s Wildlife – presented by Ken Bevis, the Washington Department of Natural Resources; and Gina King, Bainbridge Island Land Trust


An overview of our native wildlife and new work to map Bainbridge Island’s forest habitat networks, and how you can manage for the vertical and horizontal habitat complexity needed to support the full suite of Island species.


Read Ken Bevis’s bio →


Read Gina King’s bio →

When you register for this session, you will have the option of joining one of the following breakout sessions:

  • Breakout Session One: Creating a Plan for Managing Forest Health – Presented by Nick Snyder and Kirk Hanson
  • Breakout Session Two: Managing Forest Ecosystems to Maximize Wildlife Habitat on Your Property – Presented by Gina King and Ken Bevis
  • Breakout Session Three: Invasion of the Habitat Snatchers: Weeds and the Climate Crisis – Presented by Jeannette Franks and Cyndy Holtz

Deepen your knowledge by exploring curated articles, videos, and other resources from our speakers here.


Cultural Connections: Finding Inspiration, Wellness, and Community in Forest Resources, Stories, and Art


People have depended on our forests for life and livelihood for millenia. In this session we will explore how close cultural relationships have shaped the use and stewardship of our forests across generations.

Opening Remarks, Rob Purser, Suquamish Tribe



Stories of people and Forest – a slide show highlighting the Suquamish Museum and the Bainbridge Historical Museum.



Island Forests: Providing Self Care and Community Wellness – presented by Kathleen Wolf, PhD, University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences


We know that trees and forests need care and stewardship to thrive. In return the urban forest provides a wealth of environmental services. Of late, research about ecosystem services offers deep knowledge about the human health and wellness that people gain from nearby nature experiences. In these times few people in our community rely on trees for their livelihood, but all of us gain important benefits as we encounter trees in our everyday activities. What is the research? And why is it more important in this time of COVID? What can we do to better nurture trees and ourselves?


Read Dr. Kathleen Wolf’s bio →

When you register for this session, you will have the option of joining one of the following breakout sessions:

  • Breakout Session One: Coast Salish Weavers and Connection to the Cedar – Presented by Port Gamble S’Klallam Master Weaver Darlene Peters
  • Breakout Session Two: Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community connection with the Forest and Trees  – Presented by Clarence Moriwaki
  • Historic Engagement with Forest Resources: Shaping Island Forests Past, Present, and Future  – Presented by David Kotz and Bill Carlson

Deepen your knowledge by exploring curated articles, videos, and other resources from our speakers here.


Stewarding Our Lands: Conversations for Citizen Stewards


In our final virtual session we will discuss how citizens can become active participants in understanding and conserving forest health.

How we live with trees: seeing the climate change forest through the trees? – presented by Lara Hansen, Executive Director of EcoAdapt


Our trees define much of the terrestrial habitat on our Island, but they are interconnected with our marine and freshwater ecosystems, and are affected by the results of our community and personal choices. All of that is happening with the added stresses of climate change. How do we understand the vulnerabilities we are causing and look for opportunities to enhance resilience instead?


Read Lara Hansen’s bio →



Thesis Project at the Grand Forest, Bloedel and IslandWood forest parcels: A changing science and new tools for studying forest health – presented by Stuart Johnson, University of Washington Graduate Student


This presentation will highlight a research project completed in 2020 with support from three generous Bainbridge Island forest managers and
focused on emerging climate change vulnerability assessment methodologies. Utilizing small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAV) drones and new mapping technologies to investigate canopy health, a survey protocol was tested across the island to collect data and support ongoing forest management.


Read Stuart Johnson’s bio →



Western Washington, Wildfire, and You – presented by Jared Moravec and Jason Livdahl, Bainbridge Island Fire Department


What all islanders need to understand about wildfire risks on Bainbridge.


Read Jared Moravec’s bio →


Read Jason Livdahl’s bio →

When you register for this session, you will have the option of joining one of the following breakout sessions:

  • Breakout Session One: Activating the Climate Action Plan – Mike Cox, Chair of the City of Bainbridge Island Climate Advisory Committee, and Lara Hansen, Executive Director of EcoAdapt
  • Breakout Session Two: Understanding & Managing Wildfire Risk on Bainbridge Island – Presented by Jared Moravec and Jason Livdahl
  • Breakout Session Three: Citizen Science!  How you can help the health of our forest communities. – Presented by Deb Rudnick, Bainbridge Island School District Science Resources and Watershed Council Chair and Christina Doherty, IslandWood Staff Naturalist

Deepen your knowledge by exploring curated articles, videos, and other resources from our speakers here.