At our Conservation Breakfast earlier this year, we officially launched the Quimper Wildlife Corridor Challenge: an ambitious plan to protect more than 160 priority acres in the Quimper Wildlife Corridor (QWC).
Since then, we’ve been blown away by the outpouring of community support. Together, we’ve raised more than $1.5 million — 88% of our goal for this phase of protection — from 385 gifts and donations of land.
“The response from our community has been phenomenal,” says Blaise Sullivan, Conservation and Stewardship Coordinator at Jefferson Land Trust. “This support has made it possible to move forward with the protection of multiple parcels, and we’re really excited and grateful to have made this much progress in 2021.”
Towering Douglas-firs in the Quimper Wildlife Corridor.
So far this year, we’ve worked with eight landowners to permanently protect 24 acres of ecologically sensitive land that lies in the corridor’s 100-year floodplain and includes important wetland habitat. Our conservation team has also initiated appraisals on four more key properties (4.8 acres), and the funds raised so far will make it possible to purchase these and others that are in the pipeline in the months to come.
The remarkable response to the Challenge so far shows just how deeply so many of us value the QWC and understand that protecting it means ensuring that clean air and water, Cappy’s Trails for recreation and respite, and important habitat for wildlife remain available here for all time.
As housing and land prices in Jefferson County increase and the population grows, land in the corridor becomes more vulnerable to development. Reaching our fundraising goal of $1.76 million will allow us to act fast to protect these properties.
Rhododendron growing over a bend in Cappy’s Trails in the Quimper Wildlife Corridor.
“There really is a renewed sense of urgency given the drive toward new development in Jefferson County,” says Blaise. “The more that people are attracted to this beautiful place, the more we need to focus on protecting the core habitat and green walking and biking trails that will sustain a healthy, growing community over the long term.”
As we continue to work with willing landowners, state and county granting agencies, and private foundations to raise funds and acquire land, we remain grateful that we can count on a wide network of forward-thinking citizens who share our vision of a healthy, beautiful, and permanently protected wildlife corridor where plants, animals, birds, and humans can thrive — forever.
“Everything we’ve been able to accomplish this year wouldn’t have been possible without community fundraising,” says Blaise. “We hope that people are excited to celebrate the recent additions to the corridor and are inspired to keep supporting this important project.”
Join the Quimper Wildlife Corridor Challenge today!