Author: Lexi Wagor

15 Feb Species Spotlight: River Otter (Lutra canadensis)

Did you know river otters can hold their breath for up to 8 minutes while under water? They can even close their nostrils to keep water out during long dives. The playful river otter spends about two thirds of its time on land, but is an expert swimmer so it can use the water to travel and seek out food. These mammals have long, slim bodies with short, webbed feet and long, strong tails – allowing them to swim upwards of seven miles per hour and dive to depths of 60 feet! As you probably know, the waters around here can be quite cold! To combat the often frigid water temperatures, river otters have a thick protective coat. In order to keep their fur water resistant and properly insulating, otters have to groom themselves frequently. They wash themselves after every meal! Often spotted from the many shorelines of Bainbridge Island, the river otter is sometimes mistaken for its significantly larger cousin the sea otter. But what’s the difference between the two? The most obvious difference is size: a river otter is only about half to a third of the size of a sea otter. River otters swim with their bellies down, while sea otters float on their backs at the water’s surface. Sea otters also have short and stubby tails in comparison to those of river otters. Sea otters do not reside in Puget Sound, they are only found along the coast and occasionally in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. River otters are found all over the state, and across much of North America! River otters are pretty adaptable and can live in nearly any habitat near water as long as there is enough food around. These creatures have high metabolisms and have to eat frequently. Luckily, they will…


13 Jan Conservation Success: 10-Acre Property Transfer Expands the Grand Forest

10 acres, 7 years, 5 partners. Looking into the property from the Cross Island Trail in the Grand Forest.  © Paul Brians If you’re traveling through Grand Forest West and headed towards Hilltop, you’ll pass a large swath of lush, mature forest to the south not long before you reach the switchbacks. In fact, two main trails border this parcel. Because of its near-pristine nature, one might think it was already protected – and now it is. Thanks to a common vision of conservation between the landowner and a great many partners and supporters, this woodland will soon be a part of the Grand Forest This 10-acre property was on the mind of many Islanders when discussions to conserve it began in 2014. Not long after in 2015, the Land Trust launched the Grand Forest Grander campaign to purchase the parcel as well as two others in the vicinity. Fast forward through hundreds of hours of negotiations to 2021, and the Land Trust paid off the property with community-raised funds. This multi-year effort expands on our partnership properties. The Land Trust is transferring the ownership, care, and stewardship of this special parcel to the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District (BIMPRD) to expand the Grand Forest complex.


13 Jan Species Spotlight: Coyote (Canis latrans)

“The wolf we tried to erase but ended up in our backyard.” – Dan Flores, author of Coyote America. A snowy coyote stares at our camera trap located in the Wildlife Corridor. For most of us, coyotes are more often seen than heard with their howling and yips echoing through the night skies. In fact, their Latin name, Canis latrans, can be translated to “barking dog.” These incredibly intelligent creatures use about a dozen different vocalizations to communicate with each other. One of the most resilient carnivores in North America, the coyote is one of the species often captured in the photos collected by our remote wildlife cameras. Coyotes belong to the genus Canis, which also includes the gray wolves that used to roam most of this continent. Now, there are 19 subspecies of coyote that can be found in almost every ecosystem in North America. So why have coyotes been able to thrive? To put it simply, the coyote specializes in adaptability. Back in 2019, one of our cameras snapped this photo of a coyote making a meal of a large opossum! While most wild animals tend to stick to natural landscapes, coyotes can live in suburban and urban habitats. Bainbridge Island Land Trust volunteers help monitor coyote activity on the Island through the Seattle Urban Carnivore Project. This project, launched by Woodland Park Zoo and Seattle University in 2019, studies how carnivores like coyotes, raccoons, otters, and bears live and interact with people in such landscapes in an effort to support our coexistence. Community science is critical to this project. Teams of volunteers regularly check and maintain motion-activated “camera traps” that remotely capture photos of animals passing through. These photos are used to gather data about how these carnivores use these spaces. According to the Carnivore Spotter Annual…


07 Jan Save the Date – 2022 Annual Meeting & Open House

Just like last year, we are taking our Annual Meeting virtual. The program will be available to watch on our website on January 28th.  But we miss you, and the land does too! So, we’ve come up with an additional exciting opportunity for our community to supplement our virtual meeting. The Land Trust is delighted to announce a new element of this year’s Annual Meeting – an “open house” on one of our Preserves. Drop by any time between 10 am and 1 pm on Saturday, January 29th to tour Springbrook Creek Preserve, learn about the importance of the watershed, and get to know the Land Trust. Bring your families, friends, and neighbors – this is a community event! Springbrook Creek Preserve is an incredible, diverse 23-acre property that encompasses meadows, a wetland and a stream, and a mature upland forest. With the Preserve not yet open to the public, this is an event that you won’t want to miss. Please be prepared for wet weather and uneven, muddy terrain. Tours will be running on a drop-in basis, and we will send groups out as they arrive. This is a great opportunity to learn from our knowledgeable staff out in the field, who will be set up at different stations throughout the property. Binoculars are recommended for those who enjoy birds and wildlife! Pastries and warm drinks will be available for your enjoyment! To minimize waste, we ask that you bring your own thermos or mug. Whether you are interested in stopping by for a coffee and a chat or to take the tour of Springbrook Creek Preserve, we hope to see you there! Questions about the open house? Email Lexi or call our office at (206) 842-1216.


08 Dec Cullen Brady Announced as Executive Director

Cullen Brady to take the helm with passion, leadership, and experience at the Island’s leading conservation organization. The Bainbridge Island Land Trust has named Cullen Brady its next Executive Director. Brady, who is currently the Director of Development and Communications with the Land Trust, will begin his new role on January 1, 2022. Brady served for two years on the Board of Directors of the Land Trust, including on the organization’s Executive Committee, before joining the staff. During his time as a Board member and as Director of Development and Communications, Brady helped develop and lead the unprecedented Stand for the Land campaign – which has raised nearly $8 million for Island conservation and protected over 100 acres of critical habitats. He also led the development and adoption of the organization’s current five-year strategic plan. Prior to his involvement with the Land Trust, Brady served in development and government relations roles with The Wilderness Society, Sustainable Northwest, and The Nature Conservancy. "Cullen’s conservation experience, innovative thinking, and reputation as an inspiring and engaging leader make him ideally suited to shape the next chapter of the Land Trust’s 32-year history." Ed Gilbert, Board President As Executive Director, Brady will help advance the organization’s new strategic goals while fostering collaboration with Island and regional organizations. Cullen’s commitment to conservation and this community is unwavering – and under his leadership, the Land Trust’s focus on the land and waters that nourish us, the wildlife we share our habitat with, and the impacts that ripple out into Puget Sound will only grow stronger. - Jane Stone, Retiring Executive DirectorI am confident that through our search that Cullen is the right person to lead the organization at a critical time for our community. I look forward to working closely with Cullen and his team to...

25 Oct First Wednesday Work Party at Quitslund Family Farm – November 3rd, 2021

Join us for the November First Wednesday Work Party (November 3rd) at Quitslund Family Farm from 9 am to 11 am! We need your help removing invasive Himalayan Blackberry from the property. As always parking is limited so please RSVP if you are planning to attend. Parking directions will be provided next week for those who sign up. Quitsland Family Farm, off of NE Torvanger Rd between N Madison Ave NE and Sunrise Dr NE, is a special property that delicately balances development and conservation made possible by a collaboration between the four Quitslund brothers of Bainbridge Island, Jefferson Fine Home Builders, and the Land Trust. Learn all about this incredible property at our November First Wednesday Work Party! The Land Trust will provide tools, refreshments, and treats – all you’ll need is pair of work gloves! Be prepared for wet weather and a good time. If you are interested in attending, please email Lexi Wagor ([email protected]) or sign up below.


22 Oct Fall Newsletter out now!

Print copies are on their way to your mailbox, and digital copies are now on our website. With this installment of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust’s bi-annual newsletter, you’ll be up to date on all of the incredible work we’re doing to support people, wildlife, and natural places on the Island. Check out it to hear about: – The conservation success of Rockaway Bluff Preserve – An update from the Forest Stewardship Advisory Group – A thoughtful goodbye from our retiring Executive Director Jane Stone – State and federal funds recently awarded to support Stand for the Land – The new volunteer group Friends of Agate Passage Preserve And so much more! Click Here to View the Fall 2021 Newsletter


13 Oct Introducing Friends of Agate Passage Preserve!

Bring your work gloves and passion – we need your help caring for Agate Passage Preserve.   Friends of Agate Passage Preserve is a new volunteer group dedicated to assisting the Land Trust in achieving stewardship goals by helping with tasks on the preserve. Future dedicated members of Friends of Agate Passage Preserve will aid the Land Trust in achieving its conservation goals on the ground. Weren’t able to attend our Zoom info session? View the recording here! Interested in learning more or becoming a friend? Sign up below! If you are a current friend looking to track your volunteer stewardship hours, please fill out this form. Questions? Please email Lexi.


28 Sep First Wednesday Work Party at Wildlife Corridor – October 6th, 2021

The October First Wednesday Work Party (October 6th) will take place at Wildlife Corridor from 9 am to 11 am. We will be working at Wildlife Corridor clearing ivy and blackberry from the eastern side of the property. The work area is a bit of a walk from the parking area and can be a bit steep depending on which invasive you want to tackle. If you haven’t been to Wildlife Corridor before it is in the center of the Island off of Koura Rd. The property is 34.5 acres and contains mixed riparian, wetland, and forest habitats and provides a critical connection for wildlife moving between Meigs Park and the Grand Forest complex. As always parking is limited so please RSVP if you are planning to attend. Parking directions will be provided next week for those who sign up. Tools, refreshments, and treats will be provided, so come with a pair of work gloves and be prepared to have a fun time of conversation, invasive species control, and enjoy Wildlife Corridor. If you are interested in attending, please email Lexi Wagor ([email protected]) or sign up on the Bainbridge Island Land Trust webpage –


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