Rockaway Bluff Preserve Acquisition

Category Overview

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.

Project Highlights

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust (Land Trust) will use this grant to support the acquisition of the 45-acre Rockaway Bluff Preserve (Preserve), an exceptional forest lying upland of Rockaway Beach on Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County. The Preserve forms the core of an extraordinary forest featuring a high canopy of >4-foot diameter trees, includes wetland habitat, and provides a stunning first visual impression of the Island from the ferry. The Preserve serves as a refuge for many species, particularly birds, who are displaced from Pacific Maritime habitats lost to Puget Sound area development. With limited opportunities for conservation of larger parcels on the Island, this project protects the 6th-highest in quantified habitat values of unprotected parcels, and one of the last 8 of such parcels over 20 acres. The project permanently protects key parts of a complex habitat network (Map 7) and supports watershed functions and stability of a bluff. These lands went to market zoned for up to 21 homes (Map 13). The Land Trust proactively acquired these lands for the community as habitat and passive public use. The Preserve is located in the long plateau between two already conserved public parks – Pritchard Park and Blakely Harbor Park – providing an opportunity not only for conserving permanent habitat connectivity, resilient to a changing climate, but also ensuring an enjoyable pedestrian trail network, serving both Islanders and regional visitors.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Bainbridge Island Land Trust Category: Urban Wildlife WWRP Grant: $1,850,000.00 Applicant Match: $1,850,070.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Kitsap Legislative District: 23 Status: Active RCO Project # 22-1518

Location Details

Current Access is by permission only. Contact Bainbridge Island Land Trust who will arrange for site visit. From Winslow, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, Head north on Ericksen Ave NE 0.3 mi, Turn left onto Wyatt Way NE 1.1 mi, Continue onto Eagle Harbor Dr NE 0.2 mi, Turn left to stay on Eagle Harbor Dr NE 1.9 mi, Turn right onto Taylor Ave NE 0.3 mi, Turn left onto NE Old Creosote Hill Rd 0.2 mi. The property is on the right corner of Old Creosote prior to it making a hard left turn. Parking is limited and by arrangement only.

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.