Summer 2024

Summer Newsletter 2024

The view from the construction site of the Forest House on Lopez Sound Road

Director’s Report

By LCLT Executive Director Sandy Bishop

This year marks Lopez Community Land Trust’s 35th year.

Lopez is made stronger and more cohesive through our acts together.  Our fledgling Stewardship Circle is made up of a small but mighty group of local donors who are committed to supporting LCLT programs and operations. Their contributions make it possible for LCLT to dream more boldly.

In the first two quarters of this year, LCLT has completed fundraising for the land-only purchase at 108 Grayling Lane (Barn Owl Bakery), began construction of the single-family Forest House on Lopez Sound Road, started construction of six new homes (Oystercatcher co-op on Crayfish Way) and completed the restoration of the historic barn at Stonecrest Farm.

Recently, Lopezian Bob Wood remarked on what a strong organization Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) has become since its inception.  He commented that it was “so teeter-y” when we began in 1989.  I’ve often wondered if Rod Morgan, Bob’s partner, a gifted designer and a founding member of LCLT, envisioned this.  His death came before we secured our first land parcel, where Morgantown, named in his honor, now is.

Rod had designed over a hundred different concepts of homes and neighborhoods between 1989 and his death in April 1991.  He was one of the most creative and prolific designers I’ve ever met. It’s as though he was compressing 60 years of community and home design into two short years. One of his concepts involved a type of bunk house.  Lately, the bunkhouse concept is emerging as a potential important model of housing.  LCLT is beginning to explore this more seriously.  We have land and utilities and had been thinking of developing some Tiny Homes, but the ordinance presented by the SJC Housing Advisory Committee to the County Council in 2021, has yet to be adopted.  In the meantime, construction costs rise, and more people need access to stable homes.  Diversity of housing types helps create a thriving local community and the bunkhouse offers yet another option for islanders.

Rodney Morgan

Speaking of thriving, a community member offered yet another option to help house residents. This local resident inquired about our revolving loan funds. The Len Kanzer Memorial Fund for Housing was started by Lorna Reese in 2005 as a legacy to her generous and visionary late husband and former LCLT board member, Len Kanzer. The Fund makes it possible for co-ops and new members who earn up to 80% of area median income, to access a loan for co-op housing share purchases. To date, the fund has assisted over 30 households and continues to grow and serve.

Through the Len Kanzer Memorial Fund, LCLT has only been able to serve moderate income households (at that 80% or below mark). The community member who approached LCLT has generously offered to start an additional revolving loan fund, Luci’s Fund, which can serve moderate income households — those earning up to 115% of the area median income. These funds are vital to the long-term viability of permanently affordable housing, adding more options and breadth across income levels. (Read more below.)

Over the past 35 years, each of these acts of community, from Rod’s designs, to the creation of revolving loan funds, have made profound impacts on our island. We’re deeply grateful for your support as we carry these legacies forward.

— Sandy Bishop

Crayfish Way – Construction Started!

Bird’s Eye View of the Construction Site at Crayfish Way

Big strides have been made at the Crayfish Way jobsite these past few months! The future co-op members met on site for the first time in April, just before we broke ground. They are contributing 16 hours each week throughout the construction process, helping to build their own and each other’s homes. Shawn O’Bryant has been hired as the designated Construction Supervisor – he shows how to safely use tools and equipment, and plans ahead for the next week alongside Bradley Barber, Site Superintendent.

Future co-op member Scott, intern Mari, and Construction Supervisor Shawn.

Photo courtesy of Volunteer Building Partner Barbie Paulsen


Co-op members and LCLT interns have been cutting and tying rebar for foundations, building picnic tables, setting up a designated recycle station, and siding the pump house. There are two interns at the construction site, Mari, who you’ll meet below, and Axel, who arrived at the beginning of June. In July, we’ll welcome Miranda and Rachel.

Oystercatcher Co-op Members Aubrey and Kenny work on a home foundation.
Photo Courtesy of Volunteer Building Partner Barbie Paulsen


In addition to interns, volunteers, building partners and future co-op members, LCLT has hired six local carpenters: Caleb Cunningham, David Lawrence, Hans David Hellman, Adam Czaja, Dane Atkins and Alex Forester for the build. They’ve built the pump house and foundation for the auxiliary building. By the end of this month, the foundations for all six houses will be completed, and they’ll be ready to move up into framing.


Stem walls poured

In case you missed it, Crayfish Way was recently featured in the Salish Current article Limited-Equity Co-op Model Moves Lopez Island Affordable Housing Forward written by Nancy DeVaux – be sure to check it out!

Lunch on Site

Pictured above from left to right: Axel (intern), Alex, Risto (Dirt Doctors), Brad, Caleb, Marly (LCLT Admin & Project Director), Shawn, David “Hans”, Buck (Dirt Doctors), Sean (providing lunch), Scott (future co-op member), Mari (intern), and Dane


LCLT member Sean O’Connell has generously been volunteering to bring lunch once a week to the construction crew, interns, and co-op members throughout the build of Oystercatcher Co-op. The food has been a true boost to morale – especially on those rainy concrete pour days. Thank you, Sean!


We know that the Oystercatcher crew would welcome an occasional treat for break time or lunch if anyone is so moved. Just let us know so we can arrange it!

Luci’s Fund

Kailua Beach, Hawaii, a short walk from Luci’s home

LCLT recently received a gift of $50,000 from an LCLT member. Of this, $40,000 will be used to establish “Luci’s Fund”, a revolving loan fund available for member share purchases, capital improvements for co-ops, and/or capital improvements on other LCLT leasehold properties for households earning up to 115% of San Juan County Area Median Income (AMI). The remaining $10,000 will be used for LCLT operations—keeping the lights on and paying those other daily costs that enable LCLT’s various programs.

Luci lived in Hawaii but had family on Lopez. Growing up relatively poor in a two-room house with a family of six, relying on the goodwill of neighbors, she was taken by the sense of community and pulling together she discovered when she visited LCLT’s Common Ground neighborhood in 2010. She became a supporting member shortly after that and was LCLTs first (but not only) member from Hawaii.

LCLT staff enjoyed corresponding with Luci and we especially appreciated her willingness to dive into community, from one island to another.

Tutu (Luci) and granddaughter Alana

If you would like to give to Luci’s Fund, increasing the total available for revolving loans, you can do so by donating to Lopez Community Land Trust and designating your gift for “Luci’s Fund.”

Give Here

Lopez Community Land Trust is a 501c-3 charitable organization.
Send a tax-deductible gift to LCLT at P.O. Box 25, Lopez Island WA, 98261

Tax EIN 91-1469975

Community Matters

By LCLT Community Liaison Rhea Miller

In April Lopez community members Claire Waterman and Chris Greacen volunteered to reinstall solar panels by the office roof


The word “community” in community land trusts (CLT) means the land is held in trust for use by the community, never to be sold again. But there is more to it. It takes a community to create a CLT. It has been said on Lopez that “I moved here because of the beauty, but I stayed because of the community.” Interns that have been with our organization for a season say to me on departing, “I have never lived in a community before and didn’t know what it was like ‘til now.” If you study the word community, there are no negative associations with the word. Word associations for community include reciprocity, mutuality, caring, and a sense of belonging to something greater than just oneself.

There are many elements of community in LCLT. The Board of Directors must include LCLT leaseholders. These leaseholders engage professionals and representatives of the larger Lopez Island community to make policy decisions. Board members gain experience meeting with Foundations, fledgling CLTs from around the world, and participating in forums. Each LCLT neighborhood has its own Association that governs the neighborhood. They are responsible for taxes, insurance, maintenance, and fiscal solvency. They abide by their own by-laws to handle day-to-day issues from pets, to light and noise and beyond.

Amy (future co-op member) and others, tying rebar on a rainy day

Initially, prospective leaseholders work on the construction site contributing sweat equity. Skilled carpenters are working alongside folks who have never owned a tool belt, much less used a drill or poured concrete, while others come with skills. They all learn to work together. Add to that the interns from all over the country and abroad who come to work alongside them. Some of these interns end up staying and marrying, becoming essential community members, and raising families of their own.

Once leaseholders have stable housing, many start or cultivate businesses for the community. In the past, these have included coffee shops, gift shops, the taco truck, Blossom, and Vita’s. Others engage with the community as paramedics and EMTs, stone masons, massage therapists and other healing arts, or serve as leaders and directors of local organizations. They are teachers, bus drivers, ferry workers, food service workers, and caregivers as well as volunteers. It takes a community to build community. And community matters.

Thank You Lopez
Fundraising Complete for Land Purchase At 108 Grayling Lane

Nathan, Sage and LCLT Board Chair Joe Schneider answering questions

We have successfully met our goal to purchase the land at 108 Grayling Lane! Thank you to everyone who gave to this historic collaboration between Lopez Community Land Trust and Sage and Nathan of Barn Owl Bakery. We’re grateful to our community for preserving land, strengthening our local food system, and leaving a legacy for generations to come.

Welcome LCLT Interns!

This summer, LCLT will have 10 interns staying for a minimum of six weeks each. Some are interning in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development, spending their time at local farms or the school LIFE Garden Program, while others are Construction Interns spending their time at Crayfish Way helping to build six homes. One is a new Climate Communications intern. LCLT has had an internship program since 1991 when our first limited equity housing co-operative, Morgantown, was under construction. The internship program has been a way for young people to get hands on experience in the trades, learn life skills, and contribute on island in meaningful ways. Our first three interns arrived in May – Mari, Marion and Isara – you can get to know a little about each of them below.



My name is Mari, I go to school at a Liberal Arts College in California. I’m studying Environmental studies. I was born and grew up in Japan, and this summer I am a construction intern at Lopez Community Land Trust.

What made you interested in participating in the LCLT internship?
In one of my classes at school, I did a school research project looking at gentrification in L.A.’s Little Tokyo. That’s when I first learned about Community Land Trusts and how they can be a tool to prevent gentrification. I became interested in how Community Land Trusts have been used for land stewardship and how to better use land for people. That made me want to learn more. When I found LCLT, I thought the construction internship would allow me to learn more about Community Land Trusts and construction was new for me but I wanted to jump in and learn construction skills. I thought these skills will be beneficial throughout my life.

What has been a highlight so far of your internship?
One highlight was just yesterday. I worked with Sara (a future co-op member contributing sweat equity) to complete putting up the siding on two sides of the pump house. It was so satisfying! During my internship, I’ve also been so amazed to see the sense of community there is on Lopez. I hear of and see so many people genuinely using their time for community. My housing host Kai helped organize the Canoe Journeys, and I went to a gathering for farmers and learned about Sweetbriar Farm where Doug and Tamara donate their produce to the Lopez Foodshare. It’s really amazing.

What’s your favorite food? Mochi cake!


I’m Marion, I’m from Seattle, and am excited to be on island with Lopez Community Land Trust! I am a Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) Intern with LCLT spending time at both Midnight’s Farm and Baba Yaga Farm.

What made you interested in participating in the LCLT internship?
I have a background in organizing for climate justice and racial justice. I think that climate, race, and land have a lot of overlap with food systems and justice. When I learned about LCLT’s SARD program, I really felt like it ties all of these together.

What has been a highlight so far of your internship?
I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many people on Lopez and getting to know their stories. It’s interesting to hear why they are here, how they came to the island and what made them choose to live here – it’s such a unique place. Many people seem to be at the forefront of how to live in more just and dignified ways that really center people. I’ve found that people here are imaginative and hopeful with so many great ideas, I really appreciate learning about them.

What’s your favorite food? My mom’s homemade bagels with cucumber and cream cheese.



I’m Sara, I’ve grown up on Lopez Island basically my whole life. For most of my life I’ve lived in Common Ground which I feel like has been a very formative part of growing up here. There were periods of time where I was unappreciative of living here because I wanted a bigger house and wanted to be closer to other people, but I’ve really come to appreciate it and the way my parents live their life has really inspired me to be passionate about climate change. This summer, I’m a climate communications intern. I’m assisting LCLT in their climate communications through writing articles, creating infographics and videos to try to engage the community in the issue of climate change, and specifically how it’s impacting our islands and the steps that we can take to really implement change to help prevent the climate crisis.

What made you interested in participating in the LCLT internship?
A big part of why I wanted to intern at LCLT is that growing up in Land Trust housing has been really cool and seeing everything first hand that LCLT does. All of LCLT’s programs, especially around climate change. Even at school in the climate classes that I would take, I did a project talking about some of LCLT’s programs and that made me really excited about getting involved with LCLT. Also, seeing the work my parents do has been really inspiring and I know that they’ve been involved in some of LCLT’s programs.


What has been a highlight so far of your internship?
I feel like I’m just starting to get a hang of what I’m doing and figuring out what I’m doing, but one of my favorite parts so far is getting to know the other interns. I really enjoyed first meeting them at the Canoe Journey, and helping volunteer at the LCLT fundraiser together, serving food and washing dishes, it was nice to do it with them. I’m also excited to get to know people as I interview people throughout this internship about climate change. The Trashion Fashion meetings have been really fun as well.


Favorite Food?
This might be the hardest question! I do love Thai and Indian food. I love butter chicken and garlic naan… and there’s a Thai dish from Northern Thailand called Khao Soi which is noodles in a coconut broth with chicken, onion, vegetables, and little bits of crispy fried things… it’s so good!

News from Still Light Farm

Words and Photos by Lena Jones

The Barn on the Hill

This spring has been a joyful, busy time. As many of you know, we have begun growing vegetable starts for Sunset Builders Supply. Diane Dear and Todd Goldsmith of T&D Farms, who have been growing local vegetable starts for Sunset for 16 years, passed the work along to us this winter. It’s been such a pleasure to work with them on this transition. We’ve sent hundreds of baby plants out into our community this spring and have enjoyed hearing about how they’re thriving. Working with seeds and young plants is a place of joy for us and we’re so grateful to Diane and Todd for their generosity, to Sunset Builders for their commitment to local growers, and to our community for embracing us and bringing our plants into their gardens.

The frame of the Barn

At the farm, the barn is rising quickly. It’s been incredible to see it come together. Andrew has been working tirelessly on the construction and we’ve had a great crew of people helping with the project. With their enthusiasm and skill, we’ve gotten the frame up, the roof sheathing on, and the slab poured. The barn we’re building stands on the same site as the previous one, which came down in the 1990s. Folks on the island have told us stories of it and shared old photos with us. Seeing the frame of this barn up on the hill feels both new and old at the same time. As we move on to the sheathing of the barn, we’re breaking ground over on the house site this month.
Cegolaine, a favorite lettuce variety this spring

Beans are all planted and well on their way. It was lovely to see the varieties again as we seeded. In the trial beds, we have more beans, lentils and garbanzos, oats, flax, pumpkins for seed, and medicinal herbs. We’re trialing many vegetable varieties, looking for plants that thrive in our maritime climate, are adapted and produced by regional seed growers, and do well in a home garden setting. Our winter and early spring trials have already yielded a few great varieties that will be available at Sunset for fall gardens. It’s nearly time to start planning for our autumn bounty.

Waldron Island Visitors

Sandy Bishop and Members from the CLT of Waldron Island

Members of the Community Land Trust of Waldron Island visited LCLT this spring. As age demographics have begun shifting in recent years and many residents nearing the age of 60 or more, the CLT of Waldron Island sees the Island is at a crucial point. The community is hoping to attract new families to arrive so that the school can continue, farming can continue to produce food for the island, and young people can build their own dreams. The group’s questions revolved around ways to keep some of the land and homes permanently affordable for the next generations of young folks. They came to see what LCLT has done over the past few decades. Staff from LCLT will visit Waldron and speak at the annual meeting of the CLT and hear more about the plans they are dreaming up.

Gratitude and Thanks for Living in a Kind and Generous Community

Always a big thanks to everyone who makes our work possible.  From lunches provided to those who donate to strengthen a local food system, or build houses, and support staff. We’re grateful to all the tradespersons who lend their talents to help us manifest housing, to all those who intern or volunteer, who own co-op shares and small businesses, the list goes on and that is how it should be.
Always so much to be thankful for.

Top Reasons to become a

LCLT Member Today!

  1. Experience the satisfaction of being part of an organization that is making a positive impact in the lives of many Lopezians.
  2. Public and private funders require LCLT to demonstrate strong local support – your membership means more for housing and Ag programs on Lopez!
  3. Support working farms on Lopez.
  4. Receive first notice of community meeting and special events.
  5. Become entitled to nominate and vote at LCLT’s Annual Meeting
  6. Stay up to date with all things LCLT via newletters and e-news.


Each year, your first donation establishes your LCLT membership.

Annual Membership – Give Here 

Board of Directors

Joe Schneider, Chair, Luis Cisneros, Vice Chair, Mark Eames, Secretary
Jan Marshall, Treasurer, Quaniqua Williams, Carl Petterson,
Eleanor Brekke, Jonathan Cargill, Grant Carlton


Sandy Bishop, Executive Director
Breton Carter, Assistant Director
Marly Schmidtke, Administrative & Project Director
Rhea Miller, Community Liaison