Friday, October 7, 2011

Kah Tai Rising

stained glass by Phyllis Hopek/Hopeck(?)
In the late 1970s, many Port Townsend artists and poets, artisans of all kinds, contributed their talents to raise funds and consciousness about the value of Kah Tai Lagoon. This worthy endeavor forestalled efforts underway to develop a strip mall next to what remained of the original saltwater estuary.

Protest songs were composed and recorded. Poems were written and performed. Benefit concerts were held. Quilters, sculptors, painters, actors, everyone who had something to offer came forward, gift in hand to help the cause. Balloons and corn on the cob were sold at street fairs to raise funds and help pay for the legal actions made necessary by developers.

Ultimately, concerned citizens ran for office and were elected to change the political landscape of the town in order to save the lagoon. A wildlife park of nearly 80 acres exists today because good people cared enough to make it happen. It's taken more than 30 years to get close to finishing the job they started, but Kah Tai is safer tonight than it has been in a long time.

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