In May of 2000, the San Juan Preservation Trust completed the purchase of 219 acres on Waldron Island’s Point Disney. The culmination of a 10-month fundraising effort and nearly two years of planning, this acquisition was by far the most ambitious in the first 20 years of the Preservation Trust’s history of land preservation.
With over a mile of shoreline and an expanse of woodland extending to the ridge top, this land encompasses many treasured features. Dramatic headlands and pocket beaches, grassy balds and rock outcrops, an array of wildflowers, forested habitat for raptors and songbirds, and adjacent to land already protected by The Nature Conservancy—these are just some of the elements that comprise this extraordinary addition to the Trust’s system of nature preserves. With the threat of logging and subdivision imminent, the Trust moved to make the acquisition a priority.
The Point Disney Preserve project’s success is a story of assembling resources and building on relationships. It began with a key pledge from a generous donor who shared the Trust’s vision and stepped forward to launch our fundraising effort. From that point, we worked to secure donations from individuals, foundations, and conservation agencies. Ultimately, more than 280 individuals and organizations joined together to help us reach the project goal.
When SJPT was ceded ownership of the adjacent TNC Preserve on Point Disney (known as the Bitte Baer Preserve, named after Waldron resident Beatrice “Bitte” Baer Myers) in 2012, the entire preserve system was renamed the Bitte Baer–Point Disney Preserve. You can find the stories behind the Bitte Baer and Cowlitz Bay Preserves here.