The Whidbey Camano Land Trust received state funding that pays for land that will bolster its conservation efforts throughout the island.
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program awarded the Greenbank-based conservation group several grants that totaled $2.2 million.
That money will help improve access to the Trillium forest on South Whidbey Island, protect bird habitat at Crockett Lake, help with native prairie restoration near Coupeville and pay for a conservation easement for the Muzzall farm, north of Penn Cove.
Land Trust officials are looking to buy an additional 90 acres of property next to the Trillium Forest along with public access and trailhead.
“Without this funding, we couldn’t provide more and better access for the community,” Whidbey Camano Land Trust Executive Director Pat Powell said.
The land trust received $718,000 that will pay for the purchase of around 90 acres of land adjacent to the 654-acre Trillium Forest. That land contains trails people can enjoy. In addition, the land trust wants to purchase two other parcels of land that will provide ADA access, space for horse trailers, school buses and parking.
“Acquisition is the critical part,” Powell said. She added plans for the trailheads and lots haven’t been developed yet.
The Land Trust received another grant, worth $500,000, to help pay for a conservation easement for 140 acres of farmland owned by the Muzzall family, which own the business 3 Sisters Beef. Powell said the preservation group provided a $900,000 match to pay for the conservation easement.
Preservation efforts at Crockett Lake also got a boost thanks to state funding. The land trust received $833,000 to help pay for land to protect bird habitats around the lake.
The land trust also received $150,000 to pay for efforts to restore the rare and endangered golden paintbrush at the Naas Reserve located near the Camp Casey Conference Center.
The WWRP is administered by the Washington Recreation and Conservation office. The program offered $65 million that was doled out to government agencies, municipalities and nonprofit organizations to protect working farms and habitats.