Every now and then, we get some information about the Preserve that makes the work that we do both come into focus and have a greater purpose. One such piece of information is that the Preserve borders the east side of the Central Kitsap Greenway, an important wildlife corridor.
The green square on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather forecast map to the right shows approximately where the Preserve is relative to the rest of the greenway.
According to the website, the Kitsap County Parks and Recreation Department acquired the 331.94 acres of land in Central Kitsap County, which ties together approximately 15,000 acres of managed open space lands. It provides the key link to an identified north-south wildlife corridor by purchasing the last key large parcels in an urbanizing area, just one and a half miles from Bremerton’s city limits. Additionally, the purchase will preserve a prime wetland and headwaters of Chico Creek, which is the most productive salmon stream in Kitsap County, producing as many salmon as all other streams combined.
You may recall the restoration work that we completed on Chico and Wildcat creeks on the Preserve last fall, removing old debris and concrete left behind from the original homestead. We also have projects underway to restore the forestlands back to old growth, which is critical to ensuring clean, cool water and healthy wildlife habitat.
The parks and recreation department expects bobcats, bats, squirrels, otters, band-tailed pigeons, pileated woodpeckers, Rufous hummingbirds, willow flycatchers, downy woodpeckers, Wilson’s warblers, golden-crowned kinglets, salamanders, toads, snakes and pond turtles will benefit from the preservation of the greenway.
As we continue our restoration work on the Preserve, it’s gratifying to know that we are supporting the overall health of our region in the process.