UPDATE: PROJECT FUNDING SECURED!
UPDATE: PROJECT FUNDING SECURED!
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.
Over the next few months, Land Trust staff will be closing on the property purchase, 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.
Fill out the form below and hit the Submit button. We’ll add you to our email list and keep you informed about opportunities to volunteer at the new Marrowstone Island preserve!
The Land Trust does not own this property yet. We ask that while we go through the closing process that the community remains mindful that it is still privately owned, and not yet open for public access. We anticipate the real estate closing will be completed by early November, and that our 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!
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 have secured the resources necessary to purchase this property, develop initial public access infrastructure, and begin to invest in the long-term stewardship of the preserve!
All contributions that are received in excess of the campaign goal will be dedicated exclusively toward the long term management of this property and its public access amenities.
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.
We will be sending out an online survey in the coming months to solicit stakeholder ideas, interests, and feedback regarding land management and desired public access amenities (parking, trails, volunteer preserve stewardship roles, etc.) If you are on the Land Trust’s e-mail list, you’ll get a copy! If you’re not a current subscriber, but would like to be kept informed, sign up using the form at the bottom of this page.
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.