BARN seeks donations to help pay for expansion

This holiday season, you can help craft a future that fosters hands-on skills, and contributes to a strong and resilient community. Recently, we at the Bainbridge Artisans and Resources Network shared our plans to buy the 1.89-acre Tree Farm property to the south of our facility for future expansion. With your support, we can complete that purchase.

BARN has given thousands of people in our region the opportunity to learn new skills, and the tools to practice them. The pandemic ignited a resurgence of interest in making and crafting. That dynamic increased demand for all the working areas at BARN — woodworking, fiber arts such as weaving and sewing, metal fabrication and welding, 3D printing and robotics, glass work, writers, kitchen arts, jewelry and fine metals, media arts, printmaking and book arts.

This fall, as people emerged from COVID, BARN’s facility has been busy every day. Membership and class activity is growing. The number of young people taking advantage of BARN programs is on the rise. People are eager to learn, make things, fix things and create in a community setting. We know you’re ready for more.

Our 25,000-square-foot facility opened in 2017 and is alive with creative activity and community engagement. To meet growing demand, we need to create new spaces and programs. When the opportunity came up to purchase the land next to us, it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.

We can’t do it without community support and guidance. First, we need to complete the purchase. We have raised more than $650,000 toward the $1.55 million cost.

To kick off the public fundraising campaign, we’re connecting to its former use as a holiday tree farm. For a minimum donation of $200, you’ll have the opportunity to harvest one of the beautiful noble firs remaining on the property. You also can choose to donate a tree to Helpline House or North Kitsap Fishline, or simply make a financial contribution.

In the coming year, we’ll be reaching out for input about what additions to BARN would best serve the community. We’ve already heard some ideas, and we’re eager to hear more from you.

Tagging and harvesting dates are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 25 and 26 and Dec. 3 and 10 at the Tree Farm property on the east side of Three Tree Lane, between BARN and New Brooklyn Road. Donations can be given online at www.BainbridgeBARNtrees.

Grae Drake is BARN’s executive director.