The days are getting longer and warmer! For many of us, that means more incentive to get outdoors and go enjoy hiking and camping. For others, we get to take advantage of urban outdoors spaces. So this month, we bring our focus closer to where we live with the Urban Wildlife category of WWRP. Urban Wildlife Habitat projects fund close-to-home places to play and explore nature. As our urban areas are increasingly expanding and densifying, these grants protect important fish and wildlife habitat within five miles of densely populated areas, creating green refuges that help keep our ecosystems healthy and provide places to enjoy nature right in our backyards.
This month’s project highlight is the proposed Lower Henderson Inlet Habitat Protection project, sponsored by our friends at the Capitol Land Trust. The land trust plans to use this grant to buy 106 acres and more than a mile of Puget Sound shoreline on the eastern shore of lower Henderson Inlet, in Thurston County, for an outdoor education preserve.
The land, which is made up of the 51-acre Stillman Tree Farm and the 55-acre Harmony Farm, includes nearshore, estuarine, tributary, wetland, and upland habitat. It is used by many priority species including Chinook, Coho, and Chum salmon, steelhead, forage fish, shellfish, and numerous bird species. The land trust also also plans to demolish structures on the land, control noxious weeds, install fencing and signs, and remove garbage.
The Capitol Land Trust will contribute $610,000 in Conservation Futures, a federal grant, and a grant from the salmon recovery program.
This valuable project received funding in the 2017-19 biennium Capital Budget, which passed in January 2018.