Island Dispatch | February 2017


A Major Donation Hits a High-Priority Sweet Spot


Last month, both the San Juan Preservation Trust and the San Juan County Land Bank were thrilled to acknowledge a wonderful year-end gift: Sarah Hart, a member of the Preservation Trust’s Board of Trustees, donated 80 undeveloped acres with approximately 3,000 feet of shoreline on Henry Island.*


Back in 2015, we embarked on a signage program with a company called SeaReach, based in Yamhill, Oregon. The program’s goal: to enhance visitor enjoyment and protect conservation values on a few carefully-selected nature preserves that can accommodate public access. We chose SeaReach based on their portfolio of attractive, simply designed signs created for Yellowstone, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks; the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and Scenic Byway; the Columbia River Gorge, and many other prominent outdoor locations. It’s taken a few years to get this program off the ground, but we’re pleased we can now say that visitors to three of our protected properties—Sally’s Garden (at the site of the Lopez farmers market), Graham Preserve on Shaw Island, and Peach Preserve on Guemes Island—can see our first crop of signs.

Peach and Graham Preserves display three types of visual markers: boundary indicators (like the wooden post pictured above), regulatory signs listing rules such as “NO CAMPING,” and interpretive panels that provide insights into the preserves’ conservation values and human history. Similar signage systems are in the works for Turtlehead Preserve and Vendovi Island Preserve. They’ll be in the ground by the end of this summer. In the meantime, if you visit Sally’s Garden, Peach Preserve, or Graham Preserve, please take a look at the new signs and tell us what you think.

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The ascent was at times steep and took two years, but a burst of year-end generosity boosted the $4.2 million Campaign for Mount Grant Preserve to its glorious summit.

Thor Hanson and Keith Wentworth, Preservation Trust board members and co-chairs of the Steering Committee, guided this campaign from start to finish. It was truly a grassroots effort in which 862 individuals and families contributed 1,251 gifts (many people gave two or even three times).

Without the Steering Committee’s resourceful, persistent leadership, the 141-acre Mount Grant property might have eventually reverted to the seller. Instead, it’s now permanently protected as a public nature preserve—one of just a few places in the islands where young children, seniors, and other folks with limited mobility can experience “Wow”-inspiring, 360-degree views of our beautiful place in the world.

Mark your calendars for a special event at Mount Grant Preserve to celebrate this conservation victory on June 17.

Alongside those hundreds of you who supported the Mount Grant campaign are hundreds more who recently renewed your membership or joined the Preservation Trust family in support of protecting and caring for special places throughout the San Juan archipelago.

We ♥ you, our dear friends and supporters!

See our special 2017 Valentine’s Day message!