Bloedel Reserve Programs
As living works of art, landscapes grow, change, and require care and attention. The Reserve has recently begun a garden restoration program, starting with the Japanese Garden. Iconic features at Bloedel Reserve, the Japanese Garden designed by Fujitaro Kubota, and the historically significant Guest House designed by Paul Hayden Kirk, are both in need of extensive restoration and preservation. Funding is needed to protect and enhance the building and make it more publicly usable, and to restore the gardens to their former award-winning condition.
The Reserve is a living laboratory for learners of all ages. This will be the third year of our High School Internship program. This successful programs provides students with a full-time, paid summer job, including hands-on work with horticulturists, specific classroom education, and job and life skills training. In 2013 we are adding an internship for college students. Funding is needed for student stipends for both of these programs.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Waterfall Overlook Restoration
The Waterfall Overlook and Waterfall Valley represent on of the iconic and spectacular features of the Reserve. The waterfall itself sits just 50-75 yards below the main Visitor Center, and is the only significant sized vertical waterfall within view of the visiting public. The original planting in this area were installed nearly 50 years ago, in the 1960's. Many of the original plantings failed or died over time, the forest has matured, and invasive plants have encroached. The project involved extensive tree removal and pruning, preparation of planting areas, major replanting along the Waterfall Valley Stream and Trail. The key water features are no longer blocked from view, creating a more dramatic and pleasing visual effect. The creation of a "Himalayan valley" feel, with beautiful, rare, ornamental trees and larger shrubs in the background and smaller shrubs and ground covers in the foreground provide visitors with a much more enjoyable view.
In 2010 an anonymous donor contributed to a pilot program that employed two horticultural interns for one month. The program was so successful that in 2011 it was expanded to four students for three months. Funds were raised in part through community donations. For 2012, The Bloedel Reserve partnered with the North Kitsap Success Foundation to develop a more structured and formal program for the interns, focused on environmental horticulture & sustainability. The ten week program provided for five students the opportunity to gain skills in horticulture, biology, and pathology, while providing formal education and encouraging the development of life skills. Our goal for 2013 is to provide internships for three high school students and have expanded the program to add one college student. Our goal to fund the program is $18,000, of which we have raised $11,500.