Earth Sanctuary - Whidbey Island Nature Reserve, Meditation Parkland, & Sculpture Garden
Earth Sanctuary - A Nature Reserve and Retreat Center on South Whidbey Island, near Seattle Washington

Photo copyright Peter Raulerson
Chuck Pettis, founder of Earth Sanctuary.

ES Dolmen
The Earth Sanctuary team works together for maximum biodiversity.

Cottonwood Stone Circle
Many volunteers have given their time and energy to make Earth Sanctuary an extra special place.

Island Meditation Parkland features Stonehenge-like Monuments

(SEATTLE, Washington) - On a 72-acre parcel logged 20 years ago, forest, streams, ponds, and a peat bog have found new life as "Earth Sanctuary." A 500-year master plan for its restoration now guides the future of this Whidbey Island nature reserve and meditation parkland north of Seattle.

More than 4,000 plants from 60 native species are being planted in the first phase of the plan, according to Dan Borroff, the project's award-winning landscape designer. The remarkable project created by a remarkable visionary, Chuck Pettis, has the environmental goal of restoring the landscape's old growth forest, wetlands, and streams - as well as providing habitat for the greatest possible diversity of bird and animal species native to Whidbey Island. See

"Earth Sanctuary is designed to restore wholeness to the human spirit, as well as to the natural environment" says Pettis, noted for his megalithic Stonehenge-like environmental artworks, as well as his writings.

Visitors, on a reservation basis, are welcome to walk the two miles of Earth Sanctuary's forested paths and to meditate at the sites of the environmental artworks. The stone structures, designed as focal points for meditation, include a labyrinth, a dolmen, and a stone circle.

In Borroff's view, planning for human response - both emotional and intellectual - is an integral part of good design. He describes his plant placement choices as "enhanced environmentalism." Borroff believes that the project will "nurture our spirit and transform and re-empower our passion for the land."

Pettis, author of Secrets of Sacred Space: Discover and Create Places of Power ($20, Llewellyn), has financed the entire project with personal funds. He hopes to find additional funds in the form of grants and donations in order to expand the project.

"We've combined the latest in ecological design with art and spirit" says Pettis. "At Earth Sanctuary I've tried to create a unique environment that motivates and facilitates spiritual practice."