Pair who started StreamFest feel it’s time to move on, so festival will end

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The 12th annual StreamFest celebration July 31 will be the last one, organizers said Tuesday.

“An even dozen — that’s a good run,” said Robbie Mantooth, who with her husband, Jim Mantooth, a retired pediatrician, organized and hosted the North Olympic Land Trust festival of nature and conservation at their home at Ennis Arbor Farm.

“StreamFest is one Clallam County’s most popular summer traditions, and it is unfortunately coming to a close,” said Greg Good, land trust executive director.

The Mantooths plan to focus more on other responsibilities as land trust board members — both serve on several committees — as well as on other interests, said Robbie, a retired Peninsula College journalism professor.

“We’ve both been retired from our professional lives for more than a decade, so it’s time for us to spend more time on other activities,” she said.

“Life is finite and we want to make sure we do some things,” Robbie said.

“There are some things that are bigger than we are that we want to leave” in good shape, she said, mentioning that she is 71 and her husband is 72.

One is the land trust.

“We feel very privileged to live in this place of great beauty, healthful environment, productive agricultural land and rich cultural heritage,” she said.

“So, we want to continue doing everything we can through our work with others on the land trust’s board of directors and other activities to make sure qualities important to our way of life and economy are protected for current and future generations.”

Another big goal is the other is the restoration of Ennis Creek, which runs through the farm that has been their home for the last 40 years.

“We want to do everything we can to ensure that Ennis Creek returns to its productivity as a fish habitat,” Robie said.

“And it won’t do that until there is more cleanup and restoration on the Rayonier property.”

The mouth of Ennis Creek is on the waterfront property that has been a state Department of Ecology cleanup site since 2000, having been contaminated with dioxins and other substances during the operation of a pulp mill built there in 1930 that was closed in 1997.

The couple also want to spend more time with their two grown sons and grandchildren.

Also, Jim is active in the mangement of a family farm in Oklahoma, Robbie said, while she wants to write “without having to write for assignments.”

The Mantooths started StreamFest after having formed a legal agreement, called a conservation agreement, which compensates owners for loss of development rights in perpetuity.

“We started this because we wanted to protect our property,” Robbie said.

“We thought conservation agreements were a good idea.”

Then the suggestion was made that they show people how land could be protected.

That led to the first StreamFest was in 1999.

“It poured rain and about 100 people showed up and said this is great,” Robbie said, “so we said, let’s do it again next year.”

The free event Sunday, July 31, is planned between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the Mantooths’ farm, which covers nearly 50 acres.

It will highlight the importance of conservation through educational booths and activities, such as guided walks on forest trails, music and locally grown and prepared food.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Mystery Bay Seafood Co., Sunrise Smoked Meats, Sunny Farm Country Store, Olympic Cellars, Ninkasi Brewing Co., Joshua’s Restaurant and Lounge, Ennis Arbor Farm and Graymarsh Berry Farm, among others.

A “Procession of the Species” costume parade and a silent auction also are planned.

The entrance to StreamFest is down a forested trail across from Peninsula Golf Club, 824 Lindberg Road, on the east side of Port Angeles.

Free shuttle service will be available at the east end of the Plaza Shopping Center between noon and 2 p.m. and again between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Good said both the community and everyone at the land trust owes a debt of gratitude to the Mantooths for their volunteer work in organizing and hosting StreamFest.

“The best way to thank the Mantooth family,” said Good, “is to make the last StreamFest event the best in history.

“We encourage folks to come out, volunteer at the event if you’re interested and donate to the silent auction.”

For more information about StreamFest, visit http://tinyurl.com/3g9cg8p.

For more information about the land trust, visit www.northolympiclandtrust.org, email info@nolt.org, phone 360-417-1815 or visit the land trust office at 104 N. Laurel St., Suite 104, in Port Angeles.

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