2018: A Remarkable Year for Island Conservation

Author: Whidbey Camano Land Trust | 03/11/19
       

Crockett Lake Pelicans

American White Pelicans make yet another splash at Crockett Lake Preserve in the summer of 2018. Photo by David Wright.

Discover What Your Financial Support Accomplished

What is it that you appreciate most about Whidbey and Camano islands? Perhaps it’s the quiet natural beauty. Or that feeling of refuge from the fast-paced world of the mainland. Maybe it’s the abundance of wildlife. Quite possibly it’s the incredible quality of life we enjoy.

Whatever matters most to you, more of it was permanently protected in 2018 because of your ongoing support. Here’s a summary of what you helped accomplish last year:

Conserving Vital Island Lands

In 2018, 10 properties, totaling 485 acres, were permanently protected throughout Whidbey and Camano islands, including:

  • The 127-acre Donald Borgman Nature Preserve on North Whidbey with its mosaic of wildlife habitats, including freshwater wetlands, conifer and deciduous forest, shrubs and open fields.
  • A conservation easement protecting 100 acres at the Whidbey Institute on South Whidbey, which safeguards the upper Maxwelton Creek watershed and adds miles of trails open to the public.
  • A 34-acre conservation easement on Dr. Sievert Rohwer’s South Whidbey property with numerous ponded wetlands benefiting native waterfowl and amphibians.
  • Four more properties at Barnum Point County Park, expanding the park six-fold to 170 acres, including a mile of beach and a network of trails.
  • The 38-acre, Elger Bay Estuary Preserve on Camano Island, made up of tidal wetlands that are critical habitat for fish and wildlife.
  • Another 87 acres of working farmland in Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, placed under conservation easements, including farmland abutting Crockett Lake.
  • A conservation easement on 31 acres of healthy forest and rhododendrons in Greenbank that have been lovingly tended for half a century by Don and Jan Allen.

Caring for the Lands You’ve Protected

Just as important as protecting key lands is our responsibility to care for those lands and enhance their conservation values. A few of our key stewardship accomplishments in 2018 were:

  • Restoring and enhancing ecological health on 250 acres at 10 Land Trust properties. Local contractors, staff and volunteers removed countless invasive species and reintroduced native plants on prairies, wetlands, and forests.
  • Having wonderful volunteers attend more than 35 work parties to remove weeds, plant native trees and shrubs, pick up litter, build trails, cut downed trees from trails, and so much more.
  • Witnessing salmon fry at the new Dugualla Bay Preserve, two new breeding western toad populations, and White Pelicans at our Crockett Lake and Dugualla preserves — all places that are actively being restored.

Connecting You to Nature and Community

It’s also important for you to celebrate these successes and enjoy what you’ve helped to protect. In 2018, to make that happen, we:

  • Opened a new wheelchair accessible loop trail and parking lot at Trillium Community Forest in partnership with Island County. It’s a great place to take kids or to go on an easy walk.
  • Completed improvements at Glendale Beach on South Whidbey that includes a landscaped parking lot and easy access to the beach.
  • Made progress on developing the Walking Ebey’s Trail system on Central Whidbey and the Fakkema Farm trail near Oak Harbor.
  • Held our annual Conservation Partner Celebration, summer picnic and popular holiday open house, allowing you to commune with old friends and meet new ones.

These phenomenal successes that preserve vital open spaces on our islands happen because of you. Places where fish and wildlife can survive and thrive and future generations will enjoy. Places that provide clean water, clean air, local food, and economic viability. Places that enhance our love for Whidbey and Camano islands.

THANK YOU!