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.
The Whidbey Camano Land Trust will use this grant to buy and permanently protect up to 267 acres of critical wildlife habitat on northeast Whidbey Island, just east of the city of Oak Harbor, Island County’s only significant urban area. The land is characterized by a mosaic of habitats that includes freshwater wetlands, mixed forests, scrub shrub, open fields, and lake shoreline that is used by numerous native wildlife species, including those with special status. The land trust will create a wildlife preserve with a public nature trail. In addition to protecting the land, this project safeguards ecological processes and watershed functions that impact the nearby near-shore and marine habitat identified as a high priority for salmon recovery. This is a rare opportunity to protect a large, contiguous area for habitat. The Whidbey Camano Land Trust will contribute more than $1.7 million in conservation futures, a private grant, and donations of cash, land, and property interest.