Stand for the Land. And the water.
The Miller-Kirkman Preserve – the third addition to the collection of lands the Land Trust has acquired through the Stand for the Land campaign. This 13.27-acre preserve includes a 1-acre estuary, .33 miles of fish stream, 1400 linear feet of natural shoreline, and intact riparian vegetation. It’s also home to a range of important species including salmon, kingfishers, eagles, heron and salamanders. The Miller-Kirkman Preserve represents a “one-of-a-kind” opportunity in our ongoing campaign to save some of the last best places on Bainbridge before it’s too late. This preserve is not currently open to the public.
Why we’re so excited about Miller-Kirkman.
More than 60% of Bainbridge Island shoreline is developed, which makes protection and improvement of undeveloped areas such as Miller-Kirkman a high priority, both locally and within the context of broader Puget Sound recovery goals.
Visiting the Miller-Kirkman Preserve is like journeying into an untouched, wilder Bainbridge. The estuary is pristine and the creek hosts at least two species of salmonids—coho and cutthroat trout—that frequent this undisturbed shoreline and stream throughout their life stages. A variety of other aquatic and terrestrial species live here, as well.
The Miller-Kirkman Preserve is named for the family who owned the property from 1942 until the Land Trust’s purchase was finalized in 2018. Vicki Kirkman whose grandparents purchased the original 62-acre parcel and her husband Jim McLain wanted to have this special place preserved forever. Not only does the Land Trust’s ownership of this preserve achieve Vicki and Jim’s goals, it also helps the Land Trust realize its land protection goals as outlined in the 2018 Strategic Conservation Plan.
Little Manzanita Cove (which includes Miller-Kirkman) is one of two unaltered salt marsh/lagoon reaches on Bainbridge Island as identified in the Bainbridge Island Nearshore Assessment (2004) and is a focus area for protection and restoration efforts. Both Manzanita Creek and Mosquito Creek contain documented cutthroat trout and coho salmon spawning reaches, as verified in a 2014 Wild Fish Conservancy’s (WFC) stream type assessment. By protecting Miller-Kirkman, the Bainbridge Island Land Trust aims to safeguard an Island treasure and help improve the vibrancy of Little Manzanita Bay and surrounding Puget Sound.
Restoration work concentrated on controlling and managing invasive plants is currently in progress.
Funding for the acquisition, stewardship and management of this preserve is achieved through the Stand for the Land campaign, but also from a generous $372,500 grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office Salmon Recovery Funding Board. We are thankful for all that are supporting the conservation of this land!
Learn more about our Stand for the Land campaign and the other properties we’re working to protect.
Pre-arranged guided tours via hand paddled watercraft are available by contacting the Land Trust. While open public access is not yet available, check out the video below for a virtual tour!