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Au Sable and Pacific Rim Institute Finalize Sale of Whidbey Island Campus

Dec 19, 2014

After lengthy discussion and negotiation, The Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship purchased 175 acres on Central Whidbey Island from the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies.  The Whidbey Island campus, a gateway to the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, is composed of forest, rare prairie, abandoned agricultural fields and educational facilities.  The Pacific Rim Institute has been managing the property since 2009 with the intention of purchasing it from Au Sable.  With the help of generous contributions of many individual donors, a no-interest loan and a discount on the selling price from the Au Sable Institute, the purchase was completed on December 15, 2014.

The Au Sable Institute and the Pacific Rim Institute, with their closely aligned missions, plan to continue a strong partnership.  In particular, Au Sable’s six college courses traditionally offered at Pacific Rim will continue to be provided on Whidbey Island.  In this program, college students travel to Whidbey from across the US and Canada to take intense, field-based ecology courses for five weeks.  For more information about these courses can be found here.

Au Sable’s Executive Director, Dr. Fred Van Dyke, noted, “We are glad to see this transaction completed, and believe it will be of great benefit to the Pacific Rim Institute in their mission of creation care, as well as in our cooperative efforts through the Au Sable courses we will continue to offer on the PacRim Campus. And we’ve found the PacRim staff to be very effective in their support of Au Sable students and faculty in our courses on this campus. We look forward to continued collaboration and cooperation in this part of our academic program.”

The Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship (PRI) works to equip people and communities to live sustainably and care for Creation.  While their fundamental values are guided by Christian faith, they serve and embrace people of all backgrounds and beliefs.  Since taking over management of the property in 2009, PRI has hosted over 250 college and high school students for various programs, equipped 19 interns, and provided dozens of public outreach and education events.

The Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, based in Mancelona, MI, shares Pacific Rim Institute’s commitment to creation care by inspiring and educating people to serve, protect, and restore God’s earth.  Au Sable offers environmental science programs for K -8 students from local schools as well as 22 college courses serving students from 59 colleges and universities in the US and Canada. With their courses, Au Sable maintains an active program of undergraduate research investigating questions of relevant conservation interest in northern Michigan.

All of us at Au Sable are pleased to be part of this important step forward for Pacific Rim and its ministry of creation care. All the best, PRI!