Apr. 15—About a month after launching a campaign to raise money to buy 50 acres at the entrance to Samish Island, the Skagit Land Trust was able to purchase the property.
Though the land trust was awarded an $875,000 grant from the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Program to use on the acquisition, it credits its ability to complete the purchase to "overwhelming community support."
"More than 200 families, businesses, and organizations rose to the call this spring and made generous donations to help purchase this property," Skagit Land Trust Executive Director Molly Doran said in a Wednesday news release.
The land will be managed with the neighboring Samish Flower Farm — about 34 acres the land trust purchased in 2019 — and a neighboring conservation easement as the Samish Island Conservation Area.
The conservation area now protects about 100 acres and a half-mile of shoreline — 900 feet along the Alice Bay portion of Samish Bay, and the rest along Padilla Bay.
Siwash Slough, which connects Samish and Padilla bays, is also located on the new property.
"This property is diverse and important for the northern Puget Sound," land trust Conservation Project Manager Kari Odden said in the release. "It supports a beach, freshwater wetlands, tidal marsh, a small creek, and tidelands."
The land trust is now seeking funding for restoration of the slough, which would support wildlife including fish, shellfish and birds. Until at least a site cleanup can be completed, the property is not open to the public.