Ellis Conservation Easement

Shaw Island

Year Protected: 1989

Land Protected: 344 acres

Shoreline Protected: 4,805 feet

Public Benefits: Shoreline, forest, rocky balds, agricultural lands, wetlands

The late Fred and Marilyn Ellis are responsible for leaving a remarkable conservation legacy on Shaw Island. In 1989, they donated a conservation easement to the Preservation Trust on their historical Shaw Island homestead. This easement protects more than 300 acres and 4,500 feet of shoreline along Parks Bay and Hicks Bay. In 1998, the Ellis’s followed up with a gift to the Preservation Trust of 15 of the easement-protected acres that stretch between Parks and Hicks Bays, creating the Hicks Bay Preserve.

At the end of 2017, Fred and Marilyn’s heirs donated the remaining easement-protected acres, forming the newly named Ellis Family Preserve (which subsumed and now supersedes the Hicks Bay Preserve). The conservation easement remains in effect, protecting the entire 344 acres in perpetuity.

The easement and preserve lands are adjacent to 579 acres that the Ellises had previously donated to the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs as a biological preserve. Altogether, Fred and Marilyn were responsible for permanently conserving over 1,400 acres of land on both Shaw and Lopez Islands, leaving a truly remarkable legacy of conservation.