Tag Archives: Bainbridge Island Land Trust

Islanders celebrate Hilltop project; fundraising continues


The Bainbridge park district took advantage of the sunshine Wednesday to celebrate the opening of Hilltop trail and park. The trail, which links east and west portions of Grand Forest, has been enjoyed by hikers since winter. The park district also renovated a house on the property for classroom and event space.

“This has been a dream for us for a long time,” park board Chair Tom Swolgaard said of the Grand Forest trail connection.

Bainbridge Island Land Trust reminded attendees that fundraising for the project continues. The Land Trust agreed to purchase 36 acres in the Hilltop area for $3.6 million. Eight acres were obtained by the park district for the trail and classroom space. The Land Trust has $360,000 left to raise.

“A lot of people think we’re done and are out there enjoying it,” Land Trust Executive Director Hallie Stevens said last week. “We want to let them know there is still work left to do.”

Here’s a map of the Hilltop trail, courtesy the Land Trust:

Hilltop Trail Map by tsooter

Bainbridge Island Land Trust sues landowner over new driveway

Head over HERE to read my story about the Bainbridge Island Land Trust‘s legal battle with a North Madison Avenue landowner.

BILT contends that Joseph Lachac broke a conservation easement agreement by clearing plants and at least one tree to make way for a rerouted section of his driveway. Lachac says he has the right to improve his driveway, and stresses that he has replanted the abandoned section with native plants.

More about the plans to expand the Grand Forest

Yesterday, I mentioned that the Bainbridge park district’s Parkland Acquisition Committee is recommending that the first batch of levy funds go toward the purchase of a 31-acre property between Grand Forest Park’s west and east sections.

Got the full story for you on that. Read it here.

There’s nothing better than a map to show you just what this property is and what it will do for the park. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a mapped location of the property before deadline.

But, courtesy of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, I can pop one into this here blog. Click down below to see it. It’s no mere “trail easement.” The property, referred to as the “Hill Top Tree Farm” by BILT, would create a wide bridge between the Grand Forest’s two largest sections.

A few notes on the map:

–The narrow gap between Hill Top and the east portion of the Grand Forest is actually a private dirt road. I’ve seen maybe one car on the road during dozens and dozens of visits there. Probably won’t disturb the flow of walking from one section to the other.

–The “Heart of the Forest” property you see on the map is another Grand Forest link BILT is in the process of paying for. It will connect the west and north portions. Along with the Hill Top property, the Heart of the Forest will finally link up all of the Grand Forest sections.

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First levy-backed park purchase may make the Grand Forest grander

I got word this weekend that the Bainbridge Parkland Acquisition Committee has finally settled on a property.

The committee, which was tasked with deciding how to spend the park district’s new levy-backed property acquisition fund, has recommended the purchase of a large parcel that would connect the two largest Grand Forest Park properties.

The 31-acre property, referred to as the Hill Top Tree Farm, stretches between the Grand Forest’s east and west sections, and includes forest, trails and a 7-acre meadow with views of the Olympic Mountains. It also includes an unoccupied cottage and a large barn.

The park district would use $500,000 in levy funds to match a $500,000 state grant. The combined $1 million would help the Bainbridge Island Land Trust make the full $2.75 million purchase.

BILT plans to turn over all or most of the land to the park district.

The property’s meadow could be used for an off-leash dog park, community gardens or open play areas, according to committee members.

I’ll have more on this later.

Bainbridge Land Trust celebrates 20 years of conservation

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust, an organization that has helped preserve over 400 acres, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with an event featuring award-winning nature writer Robert Michael Pyle on Friday.

Pyle won a 2007 National Outdoor Book Award for “Sky Time in Gray’s River,” a reflection on the flora, fauna and people of a small community in southwest Washington.

The land trust event will also honor island resident Charles Schmid with the Phyllis Young Award for his decades of commitment to environmental protection. Schmid has worked to clean-up the former Wyckoff creosote treatment facility on Eagle Harbor, establish trails and lead the Association of Bainbridge Communities for many years.

Established by a small group of islanders in 1989 to help landowners permanently protect the natural character of their properties, the land trust has helped acquire and preserve over 400 acres of forest, wetland and shore. The trust owns 41 acres and has established 44 conservation easements linking protected areas.

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