News

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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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…

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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...
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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

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13 Apr Ted Olson Nature Preserve Expanded!

The Ted Olson Nature Preserve has been expanded by adding two more acres to this beloved neighborhood-protected area. In partnership with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust and a neighborhood-led group, Friends of Ted Olson, a successful fundraising drive was launched to expand the beloved park and save critical habitat. When the Island neighborhood group first heard that the two-acre parcel adjacent to the Preserve was at risk of development, they knew they had to act quickly. The group approached the Land Trust to assist with the effort to acquire and secure the parcel. With nearly two acres of mixed alder and conifer forest and a native plant understory featuring salmonberry, salal, fern, skunk cabbage, and more, these additional acres protect portions of a larger wetland complex and build upon an existing wildlife network in the vicinity. After an energetic few months of fundraising and community appeals by the neighborhood group, including a grant from the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation and a significant financial commitment by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District (BIMPRD) – the Land Trust had the funds needed to purchase the property. Thanks to the committed action of the neighborhood group and other community partners, these two additional acres will be added to the Ted Olson Nature Preserve. This addition will be permanently protected through a Bainbridge Island Land Trust Conservation Easement. The Island community will now be able to enjoy the expanded natural wonders within the Ted Olson Nature Preserve. The Land Trust thanks the Friends of Ted Olson, the neighborhood group, the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District (BIMPRD), the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation, and the generous community of supporters who stood up to help save and conserve this land.   Ted Olson Nature Preserve © Shaun Swalley

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25 Mar Renew Your Commitment to the Land Trust’s Conservation Work!

  Bainbridge Islanders seeking to stay healthy and find solace during the pandemic have flocked to the Island’s natural areas. Thanks to decades of support from Land Trust members, there are a lot of options available. Your membership will provide support for day-to-day Land Trust operations and allow us to continue tackling conservation projects large and small – while stewarding and restoring properties already protected. Plus, Land Trust members receive twice-yearly newsletters (look for yours in early April) and early access to the Native Plant Sale slated for October! Join as a first-time member, or renew your membership here.  

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