Crowley Preserve

Blakely Island

Year Protected: 2010

Land Protected: 80 acres

Shoreline Protected: 3,666 feet

Public Benefits: Garry oak habitat, forest, rocky balds

Some things just take time. That was the case on Blakely Island when Lindy Springmeyer and Mike Kennedy contacted the San Juan Preservation Trust in 2004 seeking a conservation solution for their 80-acre Blakely Island property. Casting its shadow over Willow Island along the west coast of Blakely, this waterfront property is a familiar site along the Washington State ferry route between the Lopez and Anacortes terminals. With over half a mile of shoreline, Garry oak grasslands, patches of prickly pear cactus, and old-growth forest (one of the few places left in the islands that has never been logged), this was clearly a jewel worthy of special attention.

Following months of negotiations, the project went dormant when we were unable to come to terms with Lindy and Mike. They reluctantly proceeded to put the property on the market.

Fast forward to the end of 2009, when Lindy and Mike’s neighbors—Tom and Christine Crowley—approached us with an innovative cost-sharing idea. Working closely with the Crowleys, the Preservation Trust paid $350,000 for the property—less than 25 percent of its appraised market value. The difference in value was donated to the project by the Crowley family.

This new “Crowley Preserve” will be maintained in its natural state in perpetuity. Including adjacent properties previously conserved by the Crowley Family, the Preservation Trust now stewards 2,330 acres of conservation land on Blakely Island, representing more than half of this 4,435-acre island (the fifth largest island in San Juan County).