UPDATE: FUNDING SECURED! THE PROPERTY WAS PURCHASED ON OCTOBER 31, 2018!
UPDATE: FUNDING SECURED! THE PROPERTY WAS PURCHASED ON OCTOBER 31, 2018!
This map shows the location of the future preserve on Marrowstone Island.
A large undeveloped parcel on Marrowstone Island and adjacent waterfront property came on the market in early 2018. Thanks to a groundswell of community support, Jefferson Land Trust was able to raise the funds necessary to purchase these properties in order to create a community nature preserve. Located next to Twin Vista Ranch and Sound View Cemetery, the preserve will feature a pedestrian walking trail through a lush forest, outdoor education space, and excellent wildlife habitat.
The property was purchased by the Land Trust on October 31, 2018. Over the next few months, Land Trust staff will be assessing the property, and developing a management plan. Community input will guide the initial steps of trail building and other amenities to prepare for a formal public opening in Spring 2019. Volunteer work parties to help ready the property for public use will take place during this period.
To read the latest update, click here: Marrowstone Community Update Letter 2-1-19.
A schedule of upcoming work party dates can be found on our Events page.
Out of respect for both the land as well as our preserve neighbors, we are limiting the size of upcoming Marrowstone preserve work parties to not more than 25 people. If you wish to volunteer, we ask that you please RSVP in advance using the link provided on the webpage for the work party dates you are interested in attending. We kindly ask that all volunteers follow Land Trust instructions regarding carpools and parking at the preserve site. If the work party is full, we invite you to consider signing up for the next available date.
To sign up for our volunteer newsletter, and to receive future preserve updates, please complete the form below and we will add you to the list!
The Land Trust purchased the property on October 31, 2018. Land Trust staff will need a few months to assess the property, develop a management plan, and begin to put recreational infrastructure in place before officially opening the preserve for community use. As this occurs, we will schedule volunteer work parties and other opportunities to get involved and on the land!
Every property owned by Jefferson Land Trust has a management plan that details priority ecological functions or features, a desired future condition, and long-term goals, objectives and short-term actions. Land use history, surrounding land use, priority ecological features, the presence of unique/threatened/sensitive plants or wildlife, threats to desired future conditions, known stewardship needs, and community priorities are considered in the crafting of each plan.
Collecting this information typically involves many parties and may include reviewing public records, gathering stories from previous landowners or neighbors related to land use history, working with relevant expert biologists, hydrologists, geologists, or foresters, working with restoration professionals, trail professionals, and of course Land Trust staff. These plans are reviewed and updated regularly to incorporate new information gathered during regular monitoring visits and management activities, and to adapt management approaches.
Community conservation – facilitating connections to the natural world and our collective sense of place – is one of the Land Trust’s core values. In order to understand community desires for the future of this Preserve, we reached out to Marrowstone Island residents and beyond with an online survey in late November 2018. The survey solicited community ideas, interests, and feedback regarding land management and desired public access amenities (parking, trails, volunteer preserve stewardship roles, etc.) The survey was closed on January 13, 2019. 170 responses were received, representing a wide array of preferences and viewpoints.
The survey results, along with other sources of community feedback, play a valuable role in informing our preserve management plan. Community input is being used to help us evaluate:
It is inevitable that individual preferences on these matters will vary, sometimes quite strongly. It is also very clear to us from the input received that we are all aligned around a shared desire to see this preserve thrive – for the benefit of both wildlife and people. We trust this shared commitment to place will serve as common ground and the basis of strong community stewardship of this preserve far into the future.
Land Trust staff will present the draft preserve site plan, including parking and trail design, at the upcoming Marrowstone Island Community Association (MICA) meeting on March 18 at 7 PM at the Nordland Garden Club clubhouse at 320 Garden Club Road. All interested individuals are welcome to attend!
Thanks to the enthusiastic and generous support of more than 250 community members, the funding goal of $210,000 was achieved on October 4th. Together with nearly $800,000 in funding from the Navy REPI program, we secured the resources necessary to purchase this property, develop initial public access infrastructure, and invest in the long-term stewardship of the preserve!
All contributions received in excess of the campaign goal will be dedicated exclusively toward the long term management of this property and its public access amenities. As of October 2018, sufficient resources have been raised to purchase the property, develop public access infrastructure, and meet our long term stewardship funding obligations on the property in accordance with guidelines set forth by the national Land Trust Association.
The Navy funding was awarded through the REPI (Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration) program, a land conservation funding source provided through the Department of Defense. As a partner to this program, the Land Trust determines what lands within the REPI agreement area are priorities for protection. The Land Trust will own and manage the property. Navy funding is provided to establish a conservation easement on the property that will permanently remove subdivision and development potential. REPI funding does not grant any affirmative rights to the military for use of this property.
Have questions that haven’t been answered here? Please contact the preserve manager, Carrie Clendaniel, at 360.379.9501 ext 109.
View of property showcases the rare Marrowstone Island mature forest in the foreground. The open space in the background is Washington State University’s 26-acre Twin Vista Ranch, which neighbors the property to the south and is protected by a Jefferson Land Trust conservation easement donated by Lisa Thayer Painter.
The red outline above provides a rough perimeter of the proposed community preserve.
This property has been part of the Fite family holdings on Marrowstone Island for several generations, going back to Marilyn’s great grandfather, Peter Nordby, who founded the first settlement on the island in 1892. Marilyn Fite, who passed away in 2010, was a dedicated conservationist.
During her lifetime, she modeled environmentalism at home, while also working to protect irreplaceable wildlife habitat internationally. Establishing a preserve on this property to benefit wildlife and the community honors a longtime island family and the values Marilyn personally lived by.
Our community’s heritage of fishing, logging, farming and love of nature is rooted in the Olympic Peninsula’s natural riches: salmon streams, shorelines, verdant forests and fertile farmland. In 1989, a group of forward-thinking local residents founded Jefferson Land Trust to protect these treasures for the future.
Our mission is to help the community preserve open space, working land and habitat forever. From wildlife habitats and watersheds to working farms and forests, we preserve some of Jefferson County’s most important places. Envision a future landscape rich in the beauty and bounty we enjoy today. This is the legacy we are working to create for our community.