Bainbridge Island Land Trust - Working together to protect the Island's natural resources
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The Bainbridge Island Land Trust protects and preserves private property as well as acquires land for parks and trails.
What We Do
Acquisition
Protection
Shoreline Preserve
Stewardship
Powel Shoreline Restoration Project
Conservation Planning
Student Conservation Corps
Good Neighbor Land Practices
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The Bainbridge Island Land Trust protects and preserves private property as well as acquires land for parks and trails.

Stewardship

Stewarding in Perpetuity


The Stewardship Program of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust works with landowners, volunteers, community organizations and other entities to ensure the conservation values of protected properties are maintained and protected forever.

The cornerstone of land protection on Bainbridge Island is the conservation easement and currently BILT holds 52 conservation easements (47 private & 5 public) with landowners, protecting over 700 acres.

When a landowner voluntarily decides to protect property with wetlands, bird and wildlife habitat, forest, near shore, tidelands, streams, open space and other conservation values, not only do they protect the place they are personally connected to, but they provide all of us with the extraordinary gift of protected lands on Bainbridge Island . . . forever. 

The Land Trust, in accepting this gift from a landowner, is responsible for ensuring the conservation values of these properties are maintained, in perpetuity, in accordance with the easement agreement we have with each landowner and as required by the Internal Revenue Service. Through the Stewardship Program and general operations, Land Trust staff and trained volunteers work to uphold this responsibility. We also have management plans for all our fee owned properties and monitor and steward these on a regular basis to retain or improve their conservation values.

Some ways we work:


One way we work to protect properties is to conduct annual monitoring stewardship visits to each easement property. This important annual visit provides an opportunity for staff and trained volunteers to connect with the conservation easement landowners, talk with them about any changes that have occurred on the property, document those changes, and record them for future reference. All annual monitoring reports are maintained at the BILT office.

Landowners Dwight and Edith (not pictured) Sutton have had a conservation easement on their 6-acre parcel since 1991. As in many past years, Dwight participated in this year's monitoring visit with Land Trust steward andboard member Liz Murray (left) and staff.
Landowners Dwight and Edith (not pictured) Sutton have had a conservation easement on their 6-acre parcel since 1991. As in many past years, Dwight participated in this year's monitoring visit with Land Trust steward and board member Liz Murray (left) and staff.

A developing aspect of our stewardship program is to work in partnership with landowners to work on restoration or maintenance activities needed on the property. Landowners can discuss these needs with us and we can explore possible solutions, offer to review and make suggestions for a particular situation, ask for assistance from one of our Science Advisory Team members, or refer landowners to organizations or entities that can help them. One example of this type of action is a landowner’s desire to remove invasive plants from their property in order to preserve native vegetation.  We work with landowners to provide them with tools (such as our weed wrench), hand outs or materials, or link them with experts like the Kitsap County Noxious Weed Program on the best methods for controlling or removing these species. A major restoration project the land trust has led with one of our conservation easement landowners is the Powel Shoreline Restoration Project. Another program some of our landowners have been involved with in the past is the creosote log removal program through the Department of Natural Resources.

Bainbridge Island Land Trust Monitoring and Lead Steward Program


Monitoring visits offer volunteers a great way to contribute time and energy to BILT while enabling them to see some of the most important natural areas of the Island. Trained Lead Stewards help fulfill our responsibility of maintaining conservation values on properties. If you are interested in becoming involved in our stewardship program, please contact us.

Here is information about our stewardship program:

  • We are required to conduct baseline and annual monitoring of all our properties. 
  • Monitoring assists BILT in meeting its obligation to steward the land in perpetuity.
  • Monitoring insures compliance with conservation easement restrictions.
  • Monitoring helps provide an annual connection with the landowner to discuss changes or modifications to the property.
  • Monitoring identifies areas of progress and areas of concern for future work on an easement or property.

Monitoring takes place at least annually. We offer an important Lead Steward training for all Lead Stewards to attend, in order to understand the role of monitoring, their roles as Lead Stewards, and to review new monitoring protocols and procedures. 

We welcome you to come join in and assist our stewardship program!

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