Cougar Creek Preserve


Cougar Creek Preserve

A new opportunity with very old roots.

Looking for big reasons to support the Land Trust’s ambitious Stand for the Land movement? Look no further. The gorgeous 15-acre Cougar Creek preserve above Eagle Harbor was once owned by Captain William Renton and is now home to some of the largest and most magnificent western red cedar trees on the Island. A flowing stream and serene pond enhance the undisturbed forest habitat. Our trail cameras have snapped photos of families of deer and raccoons foraging, great blue herons wading, coyotes, opossums, and even a black bear! Red-legged frogs, Pacific chorus frogs and northwestern salamanders lay their eggs in the pond, and the frogs can be heard in full chorus on spring evenings. Pileated woodpeckers and barred owls are also frequently heard from the public access trail, which connects Blakely Avenue NE to Old Mill Road NE and passes by the pond.

As described by a Land Trust volunteer familiar with the Preserve: “The parcel feels remote and even bigger than it is: big logs, dense undergrowth (native, not invasives!), and huge 5 and 6-foot diameter red cedar and western hemlock trees. On the property, I savored a true, natural Northwest forest, undisturbed for a long time. The property contains some of the largest trees on Bainbridge Island and an undisturbed garden of deer ferns. In the stream bottom area is an extensive grove of large western red cedar, and nestled in its heart is a big garden of solid deer ferns, something I haven’t seen elsewhere on the Island. Put all this together with the stream, pond, and wetlands that characterize the property, and you have a parcel that contains a lot of diversity and feels big and wild.”

Why This Property?

The Cougar Creek Preserve makes a significant contribution towards maintaining, protecting, and expanding an unfragmented network of forest cover and protected lands, lying strategically between other Land Trust protected properties and private preserves. This is well aligned with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust’s strategic conservation plan and priority of sustaining habitat networks on the Island.

The Preserve’s diverse habitat types support a variety of plant and animal species, with a large wetland area covering nearly half the property. The forest contains mostly Douglas fir, western red cedar, and western hemlock with more deciduous shrubs and trees surrounding the wetland. Cougar Creek, which flows through the eastern portion of the preserve has been classified as fish habitat by the Wild Fish Conservancy, although a full fish passage barrier downstream and off the preserve prevents current use. Restoration plans for the property include removing invasive plants and replanting in natives, and allowing an existing small grassy open area to naturally transition to shrubs, alders then a mixed species forests.

The Cougar Creek Preserve represents an important conservation opportunity for our community. A community with a strong sense of place and a desire to maintain the natural charm of the Island we know and love. Like many of our properties, the unique natural systems that the preserve supports also hold regional significance for building resilience in the face of changing climate. Click here to learn more about Stand for the Land and to support this exciting acquisition!

Acres Protected

15.35 acres

Conservation Features
  • Undeveloped forest habitat
  • Wetlands
  • Seasonal stream
  • Proximity & expansion
  • Climate resilience
  • Wildlife networks
  • Community access
Land Trust Preserves, Public, Public, Stand for the Land