Saving a Special Place on Marrowstone Island

Together, We Can Create an Exciting Community Preserve!

Locator Map Indicating Fite Property

This map shows the location of the proposed preserve on Marrowstone Island.

A Rare Opportunity for the Community

A large undeveloped parcel on Marrowstone Island and adjacent waterfront property have recently come on the market. Jefferson Land Trust is working to raise the funds necessary to purchase the properties in order to create a community nature preserve.

Located next to Twin Vista Ranch and Sound View Cemetery, if funded, the preserve will feature a pedestrian walking trail through a lush forest, outdoor education space, and excellent wildlife habitat.

We raised more than 80 percent of the funds necessary for this project through grant and partner funding. However, we need your help, by our October 15 deadline, to reach the goal of making this preserve a reality.

Aerial View of Fite Property

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.

Top 6 Reasons to Create this Preserve

Proposed Preserve Outline

The red outline above provides a rough perimeter of the proposed community preserve.

  • Island wildlife are drawn to the lush mature marine forest and wetlands.
  • More than 400 feet of bluffs nourish the shoreline and marine environment below and offer refuge and a pathway for wildlife to reach the forest.
  • As a protected preserve, the property can be used for light pedestrian recreation (hiking, bird watching) by the community, and continue as an outdoor education site for groups like CedarRoot Folk School.
  • In combination with neighboring properties, this preserve will be part of a habitat and agricultural corridor in central Marrowstone stretching from the shoreline much of the way across the island.
  • The two wetlands on this property collect water that feeds local aquifers important to neighboring homes, farms and forests. (The area is classified as a Susceptible Aquifer Recharge Protection Area and is located in the Coastal and High Risk Saltwater Intrusion Protection Zones.)
  • Creating a community preserve on this property will ensure that Sound View Cemetery (the pioneer cemetery) remains a place of quiet solitude and serenity.


We’re more than 90% to our goal! Please donate today to help save this special place. If you would like to donate by check, you can make it out to Jefferson Land Trust; note “Marrowstone project” on the check, and mail it to us at 1033 Lawrence Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368.

Project Information

Buyer: Jefferson Land Trust

Seller: Marilyn Fite Trust

Size & Location: 51 acres on central Marrowstone Island

Threat: Subdivision and development of 5 new homesites on Marrowstone Island

Fundraising Deadline: October 15, 2018

Community Benefits: Mature marine forest, wetlands that store and feed local aquifer, wildlife and marine habitat, future community walking trail, and outdoor education space

Download a Project Fact Sheet

Project Cost

Estimated Project Cost
Funding Secured
Left to Raise

*Estimated Project Cost: Direct expenses including land purchase, due diligence, real estate fees, community outreach and fundraising, land stewardship, and trail construction. All funds raised will be used to support the purchase, improvement, and  long-term care of this preserve.

Community Support

During late July and August, a number of Marrowstone Island residents conducted a ground survey of the potential community preserve. They mapped the property, identifying five major habitat types and cataloging more than 100 species of plants and animals. You can see what they learned in their Initial Biological Survey of the property.

Image Gallery

Honoring Marilyn Fite’s Legacy

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.

Donate Today Button

If you would like to contribute by check, you can make it out to Jefferson Land Trust; note “Marrowstone project” on the check, and mail it to us at 1033 Lawrence Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368.