A Natural Wonder is Saved
Old-growth forest, prairie, birds and stunning views of the beach below are just a few features you can enjoy on our newest preserve, Admiralty Inlet Natural Area Preserve. Not only is the property located within Ebey’s National Historical Reserve, it also connects with our 33-acre Naas Preserve, located just to the north.
The property is full of birds and wildlife, has an amazing old-growth forest, rare prairie remnant and overlooks over one-half mile of shoreline. The combination of the two preserves protects a total of 79-acres and over one-half mile of shoreline on Admiralty Inlet, benefiting marine species like salmon that migrate along its shores. In addition, it is home to a rare prairie remnant (less than 1% of Whidbey Island’s prairies remain) with a population of golden paintbrush, one of only 12 sites in the world where this endangered prairie plant is now found.
But what you may notice the most are the trees! The branches of the old-growth Douglas fir trees twist and turn making their way under and around each other. At over 4-feet in diameter and 250 years-old, you can tell these trees have weathered many coastal storms. In addition to fir, the forest contains grand fir, western hemlock, Pacific yew, Sitka spruce and red alder trees with most trees being over 145 years-old. There are lots of snags, providing perfect nesting and feeding areas for all kinds of raptors, owls and songbirds.
There’s a loop trail on the property that will be opened to the public for walking and nature enjoyment, although at this time there’s no parking area. We’ll also be building a trail along Engle Road as part of the project with Seattle Pacific University, Island County and others to connect Fort Casey State Park to Hill Road and then down to Ebey’s Landing, and will be sure to keep you posted on the trails and parking area!
Purchased from Seattle Pacific University in June 2013, Admiralty Inlet Natural Area Preserve is permanently protected and will remain forever wild.
Support for this $3.3 million project came from generous member donations and public grants including endangered species funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (administered by WDNR), an urban wildlife grant from WA Wildlife and Recreation Program funding (administered by the WA Recreation and Conservation Office), and a Washington legislative appropriation secured by former Senator Mary Margaret Haugen and current Representative Norma Smith.