Ted Olson Nature Preserve


Ted Olson Nature Preserve

To support the current effort to expand the Ted Olson Nature Preserve click here!

Learn more about this exciting project below.


The History of the Ted Olson Preserve starts in 1973 when Theodore Olson donated a large parcel of land to the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District. He believed that it was important to conserve land on Bainbridge Island and was committed to preserving this 10-acre property. In the spirit of his vision, over thirty years later, a new initiative began to acquire an adjacent 5-acre parcel, which would extend the Ted Olson Preserve further east. What is truly special about this initiative is how it came to pass, since it was genuinely a project driven by the community. Inspired by Ted Olson’s vision, Islanders asked the City’s Open Space Commission to buy the 5-acre parcel. Local citizens, neighbors, and the City of Bainbridge Island with the support of the Park District’s Board of Commissioners worked together with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, to fund the 5-acre Ted Olson addition through private donations and the City’s Open Space Bond Levy funds. The Land Trust placed a perpetual conservation easement on the 5-acre parcel. The property was then transferred to the Park District.

This 15-acre preserve stands as a monument to the tremendous resolve and power of Islanders working together with the Land Trust, the Park District, and the City in influencing the development of our community’s natural and preserved areas.


The Current Opportunity

This exciting opportunity helps expand the current Ted Olson Nature Preserve – a beloved public space featuring towering conifers as well as mature wetland features. 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. Additionally, these acres will serve as a buffer to the Ted Olson conservation easement and trail network.

Why now?

If not protected now, the current owner is planning to sell the property, likely for development. The property owner has agreed to delay listing the property for a limited time to let the Friends of Ted Olson Nature Preserve and the Bainbridge Island Land Trust find a path – in the near term – to acquire these lands, protect them, and add them to the Ted Olson Nature Preserve.

How can I help out?

To support the current effort to expand the Ted Olson Nature Preserve click here!

Who will own and steward this property?

If successful, the Bainbridge Island Land Trust will be the immediate owner of these parcels. Because the Bainbridge Island Metro Parks and Recreation District owns and manages the Ted Olson Nature Preserve, the Land Trust is in discussions with the Park District regarding possible future ownership and stewardship.

What is the timeline for the acquisition?

As with all conservation land transactions, the precise timing is unknown. However, with successful fundraising through neighborhood support, the parties involved in this transaction anticipate the acquisition to be completed in early 2021.

Can I tour or walk on this property?

You can tour the public Ted Olson Nature Preserve at any time. However, access to the proposed 2-acre addition is expressly by permission only. Neither the Bainbridge Island Land Trust nor the Friends of Ted Olson Nature Preserve currently own these lands.

For more information on the current effort to expand Ted Olson Nature Preserve:

Friends of Ted Olson: [email protected]


Acres Protected

15 acres

Conservation Features
  • Scenic open space
  • Old growth forests
  • Wetlands
  • Wildlife habitat

We need your help. Please consider making a donation today.

Contributions will help us expand, protect and preserve ecologically sensitive habitat. For everyone. Forever.

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