News

08 Feb Bainbridge Island Land Trust Awarded State Grant to Help Protect Rockaway Bluff Preserve

One of the last remaining intact mature forests of its size on the Island, Rockaway Bluff Preserve will continue to provide a sanctuary for wildlife Bainbridge Island. Bainbridge Island Land Trust was awarded a grant of $1,374,552 from the State’s Recreation and Conservation Office’s Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) for the acquisition and stewardship of Rockaway Bluff Preserve. WWRP seeks to acquire valuable habitat lands across Washington State before they are lost to other uses. The Land Trust will use this grant to offset the acquisition cost of the property, the development of a long-term stewardship plan, invasive species control, and signage. When the 35-acre parcel of mature intact forest became available in 2020, the Land Trust saw the unique opportunity. Together with the community and supporters, they worked with steadfast determination to develop a plan to acquire the property and establish the Rockaway Bluff Preserve. The Land Trust recently acquired an additional 10 acres adjacent to the Preserve, bringing the intact, protected lands to 45 acres. Within the Preserve, grand fir, Douglas-fir, and bigleaf maple tower over a dense and diverse understory that includes salal, huckleberry, and ferns. The lush vegetation provides food and habitat for a variety of bird species, including eagles, ospreys, and seabirds, as well as mammals such as deer and coyotes. Rockaway Bluff also connects with a network of wetlands, streams, and forests already conserved in nearby Blakely Harbor Park, IslandWood, Pritchard Park, and the Cougar Creek Preserve. These ecological features make Rockaway Bluff Preserve a valuable resource for wildlife and humans, contributing to a network of climate-resilient lands on Bainbridge Island. Later this year, the Land Trust plans to open Rockaway Bluff Preserve to low-impact public use. This past week, visitors had a unique opportunity to attend an Open House at the Preserve....
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03 Feb Bainbridge Island Land Trust Welcomes Three New Board Members

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust is pleased to announce the election of three new members to their Board of Directors: Laurie Miller, Tom Ringo, and Nora Nickum. With their diverse backgrounds and expertise, these new board members will play a vital role in furthering the mission of the Land Trust to protect natural resources on Bainbridge Island for future generations. Laurie Miller is a seasoned non-profit leader with a strong background in fundraising and community engagement. Following a seasoned career at Islandwood, Laurie currently serves as the Financial Advisor to Global Child Nutrition Foundation. Tom Ringo is an experienced business executive with a passion for sustainability and the environment. Tom worked for Price Waterhouse and Westin Hotel Company in Seattle before moving to Kitsap County in the late 1980’s to take a position with Pope Resources, a publicly traded timber and real estate company based in Poulsbo. Nora Nickum grew up on Bainbridge Island and currently serves as the Senior Ocean Policy Manager for the Seattle Aquarium. Previously as a Senior Climate Change Adaptation Specialist, Nora served on the US negotiating team to the UNFCCC, and sat on the Climate Change Advisory Committee to the Bainbridge Island City Council. Nora is also a children’s author writing about nature and conservation. The Bainbridge Island Land Trust would like to extend its sincere gratitude to outgoing board members, Ed Gilbert, Asha Rehnberg, and Merle Montani for their dedicated service.

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31 Aug Conservation Success – 10 Acres Protected Along North Fork Manzanita Creek

North Fork Manzanita Creek by John Knox Little Manzanita Bay is home to Coho salmon, cutthroat trout, and more. Our community protected its undisturbed estuary as the 13-acre Miller-Kirkman Preserve in 2017. We’re excited to announce that together we have protected nearly 10 acres immediately north of the preserve! This expansion contains a 787-foot stretch of the creek and a rich wetland complex – providing ample room for young salmon to grow into strong, healthy adults. Protection is just the first step in this journey and stewardship is necessary to care for this Island landscape. Caring community members like you are critical in these efforts. Donate to Stand for the Land Please note that this property is not open to the public at this time, thank you for your understanding!

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20 Jul Five Reasons to Join a Work Party

The Land Trust hosts a stewardship work party at one of our conserved properties on the first Wednesday of every month. Thinking of joining a work party? Here’s a couple of reasons why we love them! Volunteers share a homemade pie after a morning of removing invasive Himalayan blackberry from the Quitslund Preserve. Meet new people Work parties are a great way to meet other enthusiastic volunteers and conservation-minded community members! The trail entrance at Cougar Creek Preserve. Visit unique conservation lands Work parties take place on lands conserved by the Land Trust across Bainbridge Island. They are fantastic opportunities to explore new places, visit private conservation easements, or get a sneak peek of newly acquired properties before they’re open to the public. Stewardship Manager, Andrew Fraser, teaches volunteers the difference between native salmonberry and invasive blackberry species. Learn something new Talented and knowledgeable Land Trust staff lead our work parties. You can pick up a new skill like trail building or tree planting, learn about the native species that surround us, and learn how to distinguish the pesky invasive species we are working hard to remove. Local Boy Scouts assisting in the removal of invasive English Holly at a work party. Support the Land Trust’s ongoing stewardship efforts With nearly 1,500 acres of Land Trust-protected lands on the Island, volunteer efforts are critical in supporting the care of these places! A small salamander that was revealed after removing invasive blackberry species. Build a deeper connection to Bainbridge Island Land stewardship is about all about how we care for the land. Physically caring for the land helps us build our relationship with it and take responsibility for the place we call home.   Want to register for a work party? Click here. We hope to see you at a work…

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21 Jun Take a Walk on the Beach: Tips for Exploring at Low Tide

 An Ochre sea star exposed at low tide by Sue Larkin Last week, Puget Sound had its lowest tides in 13 years! If you missed them, don’t worry – they’ll return again in July. Low tides and summer sun make for a perfect day of exploring the shorelines of Bainbridge Island. We recommend checking out Rockaway Beach Park, Agate Passage Preserve, Hawley Cove Park, and Pritchard Park. The Land Trust had a hand in protecting all of these incredible public access beaches! Remember to practice good beach etiquette when exploring at the beach! Here are a few tips to make sure you’re taking care of all of the creatures you’ll see at low tide: Watch your step! There are creatures of all sizes all around you, including under your feet. Do your best to step only on hard or clear surfaces. If there are patches of eelgrass, walk around them instead of through them – many animals seek shelter in eelgrass. Leave no trace. Leave shells at the beach, they act as homes for many creatures. Always replace rocks if you move them. Only turn over rocks that you can lift with one hand, and do so gently. Many creatures survive or hide by clinging to the underside of rocks. Leaving a rock upturned leaves them exposed and vulnerable. Pick up trash! On any walk, it’s always nice to carry a small bag and pick up trash that you find for proper disposal. Only touch animals you find on the beach with one finger. Wet your finger with salt water before doing so, and be gentle. Refrain from picking them up. Happy exploring! A sea lemon (a type of sea slug) in a tidepool by Lexi Wagor Want to share photos and stories of your low tide adventures? Email them to Lexi at…

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15 Feb Celebrate Black History in Conservation

February is Black History Month The Land Trust joins the country in observing Black History Month, which celebrates Black excellence and recognizes the ongoing struggle that Black people have faced for hundreds of years in America. Despite underrepresentation, Black Americans have and continue to play critical roles in the conservation and environmental movements of this country. The work of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust is to conserve and steward the diverse natural environments of Bainbridge Island for the benefit of all. We envision a future where conservation is the work of diverse community partners and is inclusive, equitable, and just. We are seeking opportunities to better reflect the historic and present-day diversity of local people and communities through fairness, justice, and equity. We’ve compiled a list of resources to celebrate and support the many contributions related to the outdoors by the Black and African American community. The Land Trust encourages you to join us in learning from Black voices and experiences! LEARN 10 Black Conservationists Who Made History 6 Black Conservationists and Environmental Activists to Celebrate African Americans in Conservation: Young Black Conservationists to Know READ Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry Edited by Camille T. Dungy The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham Trace: Memory, History, Race and the American Landscape by Lauret Savoy WATCH #EveryoneOutside Episode 001: Nailah Blades Wylie & Color Outside Recolor the Outdoors | Alex Bailey | TEDxSanAntonio
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15 Feb Volunteer with the Seattle Urban Carnivore Project

Wildlife Camera Trapping Research on Bainbridge Island Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ) and Seattle University scientists collaborated to launch the Seattle Urban Carnivore Project (SUCP) in 2019. This effort explores how carnivores—those in the scientific order Carnivora such as coyotes, black bears, raccoons, and bobcats—live and interact with people across the greater Seattle area. Researchers and volunteers with the Seattle Urban Carnivore Project deploy over 40 wildlife cameras across the greater Seattle area following the study design established by UWIN, the Urban Wildlife Information Network, coordinated by Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute. The cameras are located within green spaces along either a north transect, a south transect or off-transect. The transects lie along an urban-to-rural gradient in the greater Seattle area and project volunteers manage about two-thirds of the camera stations. On Bainbridge Island, the cameras are located on Land Trust properties. We are currently recruiting returning and new volunteers to join the effort for the next season (the camera trapping season runs April 2022 – March 2023). Want to learn more? Read the full description here. Training (required; via Zoom) – Saturday, March 12th from 9:30  – 11:30 a.m. To sign-up as a volunteer and let us know your site and training preferences (make sure to note Bainbridge Island as your area preference!), please complete this form by 2/25:https://forms.gle/wYY2NXUCAbnP6RNK9

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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…

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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.

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