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The Bainbridge Island Land Trust protects and preserves private property as well as acquires land for parks and trails.
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The Bainbridge Island Land Trust protects and preserves private property as well as acquires land for parks and trails.

Press: BILT recognizes award winners and over 21 newly conserved acres

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA January 22, 2016: The Bainbridge Island Land Trust will host its Annual Membership Meeting and Potluck on Friday, January 29th from 6-9pm at The Island School's Webster Hall.

Meeting highlights will include honoring this year's Phyllis Young Award recipient Christina Doherty and Volunteer of the Year Asha Rehnberg. The Land Trust is also thrilled to announce the addition of the Carlson Conservation Easement, a recently donated gift of over 21 conserved acres in the center of Bainbridge Island.

The Carlson Conservation Easement protects over 21 acres and hosts a biologically significant stream, Miemois Creek, and its associated riparian habitat, forestland, and wetlands along with foraging and nesting habitats for many diverse species of plant and wildlife.  The public Forest to Sky Trail, constructed and maintained by the Bainbridge Island Metro Park and Recreation District, traverses through the southern portion of the easement. 


The Carlson property has been in family ownership since current landowner William C. Carlson's great grandfather, Andrew Miemois Anderson, filed for homestead ownership of the property on November 10, 1883. Miemois Creek is named to honor the family name and legacy.

Since 1989, the Land Trust has focused on building a network of conserved properties in the central part of Bainbridge Island. The Carlson Conservation Easement is an important addition to this endeavor. Increasing the number of connected acres in the Island's central core enhances its function as habitat and open space for the benefit of many plant and animal species as well as the public.  The Carlson property becomes the 47th Conservation Easement held by the Land Trust. In addition to celebrating the new Carlson easement, the Land Trust will also recognize two award winners at the Annual Meeting.

Award Recipients

Island resident and Land Trust supporter Christina Doherty will receive the Phyllis Young Award, which is presented each year in recognition of actions that exemplify the mission of the Land Trust--to preserve and steward the diverse natural environment of Bainbridge Island for the benefit of all.

Doherty has volunteered for the Land Trust in many different capacities as well as engaging community members and youth in all things nature in her role as Community Programs Coordinator at IslandWood.She also co-coordinated Bainbridge Island's first-ever BioBlitz in May 2015 in partnership with the Land Trust. The event attracted over 100 volunteers who identified over 450 species while surveying four conserved properties.  Her many endeavors have resulted in collecting and sharing important data about the creatures that depend on island habitats and well as working to improve those habitats.  As Land Trust lead steward of the Battle Point spit conservation easement she has not only helped with annual monitoring, but has also removed invasive plants, and conducted bird and plant surveys.  Additionally she has helped conduct an amphibian monitoring project on the BILT-owned Wildlife Corridor, and volunteered her time as an educational guest speaker during the Student Conservation Corps summer session, a partnership between the Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District, Sustainable Bainbridge, and the Land Trust.

"Christina has an infectious energy.  She transfers her passion for learning more about the natural world to the rest of us, and the transforms the very basic experience into a fun journey," says Land Trust Conservation Director Brenda Padgham. "Behind all the enthusiasm and humor though is her undying commitment to care for our earth --through her education and actions we too get the chance to learn about why this is so important."

Island resident and former Land Trust Executive Director Asha Rehnberg will be recognized as Volunteer of the Year. Rehnberg, who was the Land Trust's Executive Director from 2008 to early 2013, donates her professional time and talents participating on the organization's Projects, Finance, and Fundraising committees.

Land Trust treasurer and board member Barb Robert nominated Rehnberg for the award. "The depth and breadth of her knowledge and talent is invaluable to us," says Robert. "Overnight, she seemed to turn her full-time Executive Director job into a full-time volunteer position playing a vital role on the Projects, Fundraising, and Finance Committees."  "A recent example of her commitment was her assistance in establishing long-term financial requirements, from acquisition to stewardship, for the new 'Grand Forest Grander' capital campaign," says Robert, "I am grateful for her endless contributions that have helped to make our jobs easier."

All are welcome to attend the Annual Meeting, no reservations are required. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share and their own plates and cutlery to help make this a waste free event.

The Land Trust's mission is to preserve and steward the diverse natural environment of Bainbridge Island for the benefit of all. For more information about the Land Trust, including more information on the Annual Meeting and upcoming events, visit www.bi-landtrust.org.
 
Photo Credits: Paul Brians (trees), Becca Nissley (Christina), BILT Staff (Asha)
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