For 20 years the John Sayre family had enjoyed boating, fishing, watching wildlife and exploring Sinclair Island’s exceptional natural beauty. Then, in 2000, they took steps to preserve what they cherish by donating five acres of forested wetland in central Sinclair Island to the San Juan Preservation Trust.
For John, the San Juans have been an extension of the Nisqually flats, the landscape at the south end of Puget Sound that held wonder for him as a child. A love of the outdoors grew from times shared there with his father. Over the years, he has been saddened to see how much of it has been lost. “I knew I wanted a place where my kids and grandkids could experience land and nature—what this country is about,” he recalls. “Our property on Sinclair was purchased with the intention of keeping it natural and passing it on to the family. Giving some land to the Trust seemed the best way to preserve it, and we want to do more in the future.”
Due to rich, wet soil and very few deer on Sinclair Island, the preserve is a veritable jungle, well protected by tangles of dense vegetation. Sword fern fronds arch overhead and light filters through tree-tops to a moss-covered world. Huge cottonwoods and stately cedars host an array of bird life—from diminutive warblers to dynamic peregrines.
Under the stewardship of the Trust, this beautiful nature preserve will protect the lives of plants and animals as well as the values and dreams of the Sayre family in a shared legacy.