Elliott Menashe – Not out of the woods yet

Forester Elliott Menashe in the woods on Whidbey Island
Elliott Menashe tells it like it is.  Photo by Dan Pedersen

Elliott Menashe is feeling justifiably frustrated. After two decades of teaching the buyers of shoreline properties how to keep their bluffs intact, he thought by now he’d be watching a trend toward better treatment of these important sites.

Instead, this past year he’s witnessed an unprecedented number of slides due to poor management of the slopes above.

“I really need to reach people BEFORE they cause problems for themselves and others,” he says. “I am so tired of restoring the needlessly destroyed!”

Through Greenbelt Consulting, his environmental assessment and consulting service, Elliott helps property owners make informed decisions concerning their land. And he’d really rather do it before the clearing begins, when costs are low, instead of after mistakes have been made and expensive repairs are needed.

Elliott maintains that landowners can minimize the degradation inherent in land clearing, road grading, and home site construction by becoming more knowledgeable about the natural landscape of their property and the forces at play on, around and within the land. Development and long-term maintenance costs can be reduced, and property value increased through coordinated planning and careful consideration of home siting, solar potential, septic systems, and access. Through assessment of your land’s topography and existing natural elements, Greenbelt Consulting can suggest practical ways to maintain ecological integrity while blending comfort, safety, and utility to create the environment you really want.

Image of Elliott Menashe teaching how to minimize environmental damage during property development
You haven’t walked through a forest until you’ve walked through a forest with Elliott Menashe. Photo by Dan Pedersen

A familiar face around Whidbey Island and the shores of Puget Sound, you’ll find Elliott involved with, and opinionated about, everything having to do with land use.

Back in October he appeared – in disguise – in my South Whidbey Record column about invasive species. Entitled Lookout: Something scary could be coming this way, the piece centered on bamboo, a wildly popular landscape plant that Elliott is growing more and more concerned about.

He’s convinced that with its running habit and love of the mild Northwest climate, bamboo will soon be as big a pest as English Ivy. Probably bigger, because you can’t just grab it and yank like you can ivy. Removing unwanted bamboo is a project that often requires a backhoe.

More recently, Elliott has lent his expertise and experience to a group of concerned Whidbey Islanders who see public access to public beaches becoming an endangered species. Islanders for Public Beach Access is a newly formed group of citizens who are tired of watching public rights of way lost to neglect, or encroached upon and closed by neighboring property owners. They’re out to find, mark and protect valuable, publicly owned beach access points for future generations.

Elliott’s articles and information about all these things and more are available on the Greenbelt Consulting website, where he generously shares his own writing and photos, as well as official reports and studies that will help landowners successfully manage their own property.

Get face time with Elliott
Elliott often teaches about beautiful ways to control erosion with native plants at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. He has shared a recipe for Evergreen Huckleberry Jam with readers of the show’s official blog, Evergreen huckleberry is one of many beautiful and useful native plants that deserve to be widely planted, especially on shoreline bluffs.

I highly recommend going to hear him any chance you get. He’s an entertaining speaker, knows his stuff and is thoroughly passionate about helping create wonderful spaces in our wonderful Puget Sound places.

Maybe he’ll even serve jam.

Similar Posts


  1. obviously like your website however you have to take a
    look at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife
    with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome to inform
    the truth then again I’ll certainly come back again.

  2. Hi Sandy,
    Nice to meet Elliott’s sister. I bet growing up with him was anything but dull! Thanks for your comments, I appreciate you finding the blog. I too hope that teaming up with Elliott by featuring him here will help shoreline homeowners get important info for managing their property. If we can keep just one bluff from sliding because of drainage issues or misplaced irrigation I’ll consider it a job well done.

  3. Dan, thanks for the comment, and for adding those apt descriptions that I left out of the article. Elliott is indeed a cool guy and good friend – that’s demonstrated by the many hours he’s donating to the beach access group. But unforgettable character is the one tag that fits like an absolute glove.

  4. Elliott and I share the same Mother and Father and the love of the outdoors. Thank you Nancy for capturing the essence of El and what he is doing. This is a great way to get the word out and make a difference. I will look forward to checking out your other articles.

    All the best to you Sandy

  5. Great column, Nancy. Elliott is never at a loss for an opinion, but really knows his stuff. I’m bumping into more and more people who have asked him to look at their land before they build, so maybe the word is getting through. Thank you for writing about him — equal parts a cool guy, unforgettable character, forest expert and a good friend.

Comments are closed.