Lily Point purchased by Whatcom Land Trust

Published on Thu, May 15, 2008 by Pat Grubb

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Lily Point purchased by Whatcom Land Trust

By Pat Grubb

The deal is sealed and 90 acres of Lily Point in Point Roberts have been secured for a public park.

Whatcom Land Trust, which coordinated the purchase of the land, used $250,000 of their own emergency funds to make up a shortfall on the $3.5 million sale price.

Scholefield and her fundraising group organized a Lily Point walk on April 26 to celebrate the purchase and raise funds to refill land trust coffers. “People really need to identify with this project at this critical stage,” Scholefield said.

Representatives from the land trust and county parks will attend the event to talk about the past and future of the property.

The land trust has deeded the 90-acre shoreline property, which comes with 40 acres of tidelands, to the county parks department, which now owns all four corners of Point Roberts.

A conservation easement runs with the property, which can only be used from now on as a public park, and no clearing, excavating or construction not related to preserving and sharing the ecological richness of the property is permitted.

The land trust is planning its own celebration of the Lily Point acquisition in June, when a minus 4.4-foot tide will allow visitors to explore both the uplands and the tidelands, and allow the community a chance to thank the various groups who contributed to the purchase of the property.

The state department of fish and wildlife anchored the purchase with a $1.75 million grant from its salmon and estuary enhancement program.
Out of 73 applications, the purchase of Lily Point was ranked second by the Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership, a stakeholder group that guides grant awards from the program.

Whatcom County donated $600,000, the state department of ecology donated $550,000, and the land trust, working with local groups, raised over $400,000 in private donations.

“We were blessed with a long list of talented, enthusiastic people who understood the value of protecting Lily Point.

Land trust president Chris Moench noted that Lily Point is likely the most culturally and ecologically endowed, privately owned, undeveloped property on the greater Puget Sound shoreline.

“For centuries people have come to Lily Point because of its biological richness. Whatcom Land Trust hopes to make sure that public access and biological richness will be maintained for centuries to come.”

The Point Roberts Conservation Society, which raised over $60,000 for the purchase, is also continuing to look for funds, hoping to add more property to the park, specifically an adjacent shoreline property to the northeast of the recent purchase.

The Point Roberts Conservation Society’s mailing address is Box 167, Point Roberts, Washington 98281. Rosser can be reached at 604/813-7515

The Whatcom Land Trust can be reached at PO Box 6131 Bellingham, WA 98225 at 360/650.9470 or info@whatcomlandtrust.org.