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Hilltop project gets boost with challenge grants

Officials with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust have announced that the nonprofit has received three new challenge grants totaling $75,000 for Hilltop, the 36-acre land acquisition project that connects the East and West Grand Forest.

The challenge grants were made by Island donors dedicated to the completion of the effort to protect more than 540 contiguous acres across Bainbridge Island’s central core.

The land trust must raise the final $360,000, the last 10 percent of the overall project goal.

So far, more than 550 households, foundations and organizations have supported the Hilltop project, and the land trust hopes these challenge grants will encourage Islanders to join in so donations can be matched dollar for dollar.

“Hikers, bikers, runners, striders and nature lovers — Hilltop has something for everyone,” said Connie Waddington, interim executive director of the land trust.

“We are very proud that the land trust and islanders have stepped up to make sure that we can secure this wonderful property,” she said.

The land trust is working to complete the Hilltop campaign this fall. One part of the property has already been transferred to the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, which has completed a trail connection between the east and west segments of the Grand Forest. The remainder of the property will be transferred in the near future.

Islanders can visit Hilltop by parking at any of the Grand Forest entrances. Trail maps are available at www.bi-landtrust.org.

For additional information on the Hilltop project, go to www.hilltopnow.org.

 

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