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Hilltop property will be protected until time’s end | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To the editor:
As a young family that spends much of our spare time wandering the forest trails and exploring the beaches of the Island, many of our adventures would never have been possible without the hard work of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, its donors, and land partners. For that, our family is forever grateful.
It is our hope to somehow repay this generosity and maybe — through this simple letter — convey a small piece of our appreciation by reminding our neighbors of the magnificence of this little rock in Puget Sound and the dedication of some wonderful people.
Not yet in grammar school, our children already have forests, bogs, shorelines, tide pools and mountain vistas imprinted upon them, as a part of them — something very different from the childhood memories of their Midwestern parents. That is incredibly gratifying to us, to know that what took more than 30 years for us to experience is their birthright as Islanders. And, it’s equally reassuring to know that access to and protection of these special Island places shows no sign of stopping thanks to the land trust.
Case in point is the recent Hilltop project, connecting East and West Grand Forest and creating 540 acres of contiguously protected land. Really think about that for a minute; we have a 4½ mile cross-Island trail corridor! It’s now possible for wildlife and people to traverse nearly the entire width of the Island on lands and trails protected by the Land Trust.
In those few miles, the ecological diversity · forests, creeks, wetlands, meadows, etc. — is more than many Americans experience in a lifetime. What’s more is that upon arriving at the 5-acre upland meadow in the center of the Hilltop property, the pastoral tranquility and views of the Olympics are unmatched.
And the kicker? Those lands are protected until the end of time.
So, to the land trust, again, thank you. No matter where life may take us, Bainbridge Island and its protected areas will forever be part of us. And while we’re here, we’ll do our best to give what we can, be it time and money or effort and sweat to continuing what the Bainbridge Island land trust started 25 years ago.
MATT AND SARA OTEPKA