News

13 Nov Critical Salmon Habitat Restored at Springbrook Creek Preserve

Another win in the recovery of threatened and endangered species such as Puget Sound Steelhead.   In a landmark restoration effort, the Bainbridge Island Land Trust has restored a critical section of Springbrook Creek by removing an underground culvert to allow free fish passage through Springbrook Creek Preserve. The restoration efforts were made possible through the support of dedicated volunteers, partners, and neighbors.       This September, volunteers helped prepare 800 biodegradable bags of soil that were strategically placed to stabilize the streambank while native plants take hold. Port Madison Enterprises and Wild Fish Conservancy played a pivotal role in ensuring the project’s success. After removing the culvert, the Land Trust installed a 30-foot-long pedestrian bridge over the stream, allowing the creek to flow freely. This bridge will provide future public access across the stream.       The Glanzrock family, who reside near the Preserve, expressed their excitement with the results of the project, stating, “We have been happy working together with the Land Trust to protect the 23 acres of wetland and wildlife habitat now known as Springbrook Creek Preserve. Over the years, as parcels of land have been divided and built upon it’s satisfying to know that another large tract of Bainbridge Island will be kept mostly wild and undeveloped.”     The 23-acre Preserve was strategically chosen following a multi-year stream assessment, and conserved through the Stand for the Land campaign in 2019. The Springbrook Creek Watershed Assessment identified future restoration opportunities within the nearly 1,000-acre watershed, such as removing other fish passage barriers and enhancing stream habitats.     Springbrook Creek (which drains into Fletcher Bay on the west side of the Island) is important in a region-wide context. Its protection is a priority of the Puget Sound Partnership Action Agenda, which is the State’s…

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14 Sep Breaking Ground at Springbrook Creek Preserve

We have broken ground on our stream restoration project at Springbrook Creek Preserve! We are removing a full fish passage barrier culvert, and enhancing the stream habitat as part of this project. Check out our time-lapse videos of our progress day by day! Thanks to our partners from Port Madison Enterprises Construction Company, Wild Fish Conservancy, and our dedicated neighbors Jeff Glanzrock and Kathy Levine who are working with us on this project. Thanks too to our dedicated volunteers who helped prepare 800 coir bags of soil that will be used along the streambank as part of restoration efforts. The bags will be placed along the stream, planted, and will help stabilize the bank while vegetation matures. The goal of the project is to allow fish access to excellent rearing habitat in the preserve, and improve stream habitat on both the preserve and the neighboring property. After the culvert is removed we will install a 30-foot pedestrian bridge over the stream, allowing the creek to flow freely. This bridge will provide public and stewardship access across the stream. These initiatives reflect our commitment to conserving and restoring our local watersheds through our Watershed Initiative. Due to these ongoing activities, the preserve remains closed to public access. However, we are working towards providing the public with opportunities to enjoy this remarkable place soon. Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of this exciting project. See photos of our hard-working volunteers helping to prepare the site, and a first glimpse at the groundbreaking below (photos by Cameron Karsten):

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15 Jun Exciting Changes Coming to Springbrook Creek Preserve!

We are excited to announce major developments at Springbrook Creek Preserve over the next few months. Our goal of enhancing the wetlands, stream, meadow, and forest habitats on this 23-acre conservation land is well underway. After extensive planning and preparation, we are now entering the construction phase to remove a full fish passage barrier on Springbrook Creek. We will be installing a 30-foot pedestrian bridge over the stream, allowing the creek to flow freely and creating vital fish rearing habitat. This bridge will also provide public access across the stream. We are grateful to our neighbors Jeff Glanzrock and Kathy Levine who have been instrumental in moving this process forward. In preparation for the construction, you will soon notice changes near the Preserve. The Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) will be removing the old creosote and wire fence along Fletcher Bay Road. We will temporarily replace it with an orange construction fence, ensuring public safety during this period. Once all construction is complete, the orange fencing will be replaced with a split rail fence. WCC is also supporting our ongoing efforts to control invasive plants and enhance meadow, wetland, and riparian habitats. They will also assist with trail work to prepare for future public access. These initiatives reflect our commitment to conserving and restoring our local watersheds through our Watershed Initiative. Due to these ongoing activities, the preserve remains closed to public access. However, we are working towards providing the public with opportunities to enjoy this remarkable place soon. Until then, you can sign up for a guided tour to visit the property.

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06 Apr 2023 Environmental Conference Inspires Climate Solutions

Bainbridge Island, WA – On Saturday, March 25th, more than 140  environmental stewards and community members gathered at Bainbridge Island High School for the 2023 Bainbridge Island Environmental Conference. The theme of the conference was “Our Island Home on an Unruly Planet,” a title inspired by the keynote speaker Madeline Ostrander, environmental journalist and author of the book “At Home on an Unruly Planet.”  Madeline Ostrander has written extensively on issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental justice. Her keynote speech focused on the urgency of addressing climate change and the need for collective action at all levels of society. “I wrote ‘At Home on an Unruly Planet’ hoping it could start meaningful conversations about climate responses in people’s communities,” said Ostrander. “I couldn’t have dreamed up a better or more inspiring place for that than at [the Environmental Conference].”  The 2023 Jerry and Elane Hellmuth Environmentalist of the Year Award was awarded to Lara Hansen, Chief Scientist & Executive Director of EcoAdapt. She is the 25th islander to be recognized with this award, which was first presented in 1991. Lara shared her passion with the audience during her plenary speech on anticipated climate impacts to Bainbridge Island. Lara “approached climate change with such vivid knowledge and enthusiasm to rally us and the world to find solutions,” shared conference organizer Frank Stowell.  Following the plenary, attendees were invited to participate in breakout sessions led by engaging Island leaders from environmental agencies and nonprofit organizations across Bainbridge Island. Attendees examined the impacts of climate change on Bainbridge Island’s shorelines, forests, air quality, transportation, infrastructure, and sense of place. The sessions were designed to encourage actionable insights and strategies to address these challenges and make progress toward a more sustainable future for Bainbridge Island. The Bainbridge Island Land Trust, with…

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06 Mar Bainbridge Island Land Trust Seeks Public Comments for Reaccreditation

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust welcomes public comments on compliance with national land trust standards and practices to support reaccreditation process. The Bainbridge Island Land Trust is currently applying for reaccreditation through the Land Trust Accreditation Commission (LTAC). Reaccreditation by the LTAC is a rigorous process that evaluates a land trust’s adherence to national standards and best practices in land conservation. The standards cover a range of topics, including ethical and legal responsibilities, financial management, land transactions, conservation easements, stewardship, and community engagement. Land Trust accreditation is important to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust because it provides external validation of our commitment to excellence in land conservation, enhances our credibility and reputation, and helps to ensure the long-term success of our mission. Additionally, this process can help the Land Trust continually improve our operations and programs by providing a framework for ongoing evaluation. The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how the Bainbridge Island Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards see http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/help-and-resources/indicator-practices. To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org, or email your comment to [email protected]. Comments may also be mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments, 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Comments on Bainbridge Island Land Trust’s application will be most useful by May 25, 2023.

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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 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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