Whidbey Camano Land Trust has announced that the legal documents are ready, the money is in an escrow account, and closing on the Trillium property is scheduled before the end of September.
Whidbey Camano Land Trust (WCLT) board member Joanie Boose repeated a quote she has read: “‘To achieve the incredible, we must attempt the impossible.” She adds, “That’s what we did. What a community, what a team!”
More than 1,400 donations and the efforts of scores of people brought the permanent protection of the Trillium property within reach.
“It’s over the top,” says Elizabeth Guss, WCLT director of outreach and development. “But if this was going to happen anywhere, it was going to happen here. This is the Whidbey culture—community rallying to protect a treasure.”
To make closing possible, the Land Trust took out a low-interest loan that must be repaid within the next four years. After the debt is retired, Island County will accept title to the 664-acre property and the Land Trust will hold a conservation easement (a legally-binding, permanent agreement). The conservation easement will ensure that the property is never developed, wildlife habitat is protected, the public can enjoy non-motorized recreational activities, and current and future generations will continue to experience the joys of nature.
The fundraising goal for the Trillium project included the money needed to acquire, protect, and steward the land. Some of those funds are for Island County’s stewardship and some will enable the Land Trust to develop a management plan and a conservation easement. All of these steps support the process of restoring the forest to a sustainable, healthy condition and will help the Land Trust determine appropriate uses and locations of trails, gates, signs, and other items.
“This is a lifetime commitment,” says Guss. “It’s a choice to be responsible and protect this forest forever.”
The Land Trust needs to raise another $150,000 to repay the loan and establish a stewardship fund. To find out more about Whidbey Camano Land Trust and ways to continue to help, visit their website.