In a landmark restoration effort, the Bainbridge Island Land Trust has restored a critical section of Springbrook Creek by removing an underground culvert to allow fish passage through Springbrook Creek Preserve.
The restoration efforts were made possible through the support of volunteers, partners and neighbors.
Volunteers helped prepare 800 biodegradable bags of soil that were strategically placed to stabilize the stream bank while native plants take hold.
After removing the culvert, the Land Trust installed a 30-foot-long pedestrian bridge over the stream, allowing the creek to flow freely. The bridge will provide future public access across the stream.
The Jeff Glanzrock family, which resides near the preserve, expressed excitement with the results by stating, “We have been happy working together with the Land Trust to protect the 23 acres of wetland and wildlife habitat now known as Springbrook Creek Preserve. Over the years, as parcels of land have been divided and built upon it’s satisfying to know that another large tract of Bainbridge Island will be kept mostly wild and undeveloped.”
The preserve was chosen following a multi-year stream assessment and conserved through the Stand for the Land campaign in 2019. The Springbrook Creek Watershed Assessment identified future restoration opportunities within the nearly 1,000-acre watershed, such as removing other fish passage barriers and enhancing stream habitats.
Springbrook Creek (which drains into Fletcher Bay on the west side of BI) is important regionally. Its protection is a priority of the Puget Sound Partnership Action Agenda, which is the state’s directive for recovering threatened and endangered species such as Puget Sound steelhead, Chinook salmon and orcas.
Bainbridge Island Land Trust Executive Director, Cullen Brady, added, “This is just the beginning of our mission to restore the watershed. It is vital that we continue our efforts to protect stream habitat, to ensure that both our native wildlife and our community continue to thrive.”