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WEAN founder considered for parks seat
A big chunk of South Whidbey State Park is still cedar and fir forest thanks to Marianne Edain and the group she helped found, Whidbey Environmental Action Network.
She may bring that lifelong spirit of environmental protection and advocacy as well as 30 years as a restoration ecologist to Langley’s Parks and Open Space Commission. Edain is up for confirmation by the Langley City Council on Monday, Sept. 23.
This is not her first time seeking such an appointment. Edain, a Scatchet Head-area resident, applied once before, only to have the process re-opened when she was the only person to apply. That experience didn’t deter her from wanting to serve Langley’s future by preserving its parks and the surrounding forest, which she called the city’s most important asset.
“What makes Langley beautiful and a tourist attraction is that it’s surrounded by forest,” she said.
To keep Langley’s view from disappearing or changing too radically, Edain has one thing atop her list of priorities: bluff stability. In March, heavy snows and fast melting led to a partial slide in Langley from Cascade Avenue to Wharf Street, blocking vehicle access to South Whidbey Harbor, commonly called Langley marina.
Lacking a substantial groundwater study is one of the big issues, she said, and finding suitable vegetation to replace noxious weeds and cleared bluff faces will be necessary.
“All we know is the water keeps moving out the face of the bluff and sometimes it takes a chunk of the bluff with it,” Edain said.
“Somewhere there has to be money available … It’s the kind of thing that needs to be done, or the city is going to keep shrinking.”
Though open space will be her primary focus, city parks such as Seawall and Generation will not be ignored. She mentioned a recent letter to the editor in the South Whidbey Record which addressed the lack of playground equipment for children with special needs. Reading that letter opened her eyes to an issue she had not considered.
“You accommodate everybody,” Edain said.
The Parks and Open Space Commission meets the second Monday of each month, from 3 to 5 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Oct. 14.