Coastal Access for All

Judy Lynn believes all beaches should be public land. By donating her tidelands to the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, she’s doing her part to ensure future generations will have access to the islands’ coastal lands.

“There are so many treasures out here,” Judy said as she walked along the edge of the water with her granddaughter, Addie Beavers (pictured right with Judy). “Each time I visit the beach I see something new and come home with my pockets full of rocks and shells … I couldn’t imagine my life without this open space.”

And Judy is no stranger to the importance of open space. She partnered with the Land Trust to permanently protect her farmland located just north of Penn Cove near San de Fuca. It’s the view you see from the highway when entering Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve from the north. After her land became the first farmland property protected on the north side of the Reserve, she asked, “What about the tidelands?”

Judy inherited her property from her partner, Val Arnold. Val cherished the natural beauty and history of Whidbey Island and was vested in the community. As Judy gives back to the community, she’s also paying tribute to Val.

Now Judy’s 755 feet of private tidelands, located directly across the street from her protected farmland, are also conserved. To the west of the Land Trust’s new tideland property are 1,270 feet of Island County tidelands; a stretch of private tidelands lies to the east. Securing tidelands for public access and wildlife habitat has always been a high priority for the Land Trust. Tidelands are submerged lands and beaches that are exposed and submerged with the ebb and flow of the tides. The tidelands are part of a diverse and vital nearshore habitat that provides a rich and abundant source of food and shelter for many kinds of fish and wildlife.

Judy Lynn’s donated tidelands include medium-bank waterfront. There’s a staircase to the beach, but it’s currently unsafe to use. The Land Trust hopes to repair the stairs in the next few years. If you can help with the permitting process, funding for the project, or construction of the stairs, please contact us.

For Judy, donating her tidelands is part of a legacy for her family, the community and in honor of Val. She plans to continue to enjoy the beach she donated to the Land Trust for years to come and is absolutely delighted to share this opportunity with residents and visitors.