Even after many years, Nancy and Tom Christie still feel the thrill of watching a great blue heron land in the stately cedar near their pond. Since the couple’s first visit to Orcas their appreciation for the natural beauty of the islands has only deepened, and for Nancy, with roots in southeastern Alaska, purchasing their place near Grindstone Harbor was a bit like coming home.
The Christie’s south-facing acreage slopes gently to the shore and provides views across Harney Channel to the Lopez Ferry landing and beyond. “We were fortunate to have found a very special piece of property, “Tom shares. “It has a remarkable array of natural features, all on one little piece.”
Last year Tom and Nancy donated a conservation easement that sets aside seven of their 13 acres as preserved open space. Tom remarked at the time of the donation, “At this stage in our life we decided that we would like to ensure that at least half of the land remains in the condition that we received it. It’s been particularly rewarding to see how our grandchildren, who have grown up spending time with us here, have become attached to it. We want to do what we can to see that they and others can enjoy it into the future.”
Under the terms of the conservation easement the land will remain free of structures. Deer, songbirds and waterfowl will continue to utilize the woodland, meadow and wetland habitats, and neighboring landowners and passengers traveling the ferry route corridor will be able to enjoy views of the beautiful property.
“Each year we seem to love it more,” Tom reflects. “While ours is not a big donation, we think every contribution that can be made to The Preservation Trust will help to ensure the islands remain healthy and beautiful into the future, and we hope others will feel the same way.”