San Juan Preservation Trust Executive Director Angela Anderson had some surprising news to share. SJPT, in partnership with the San Juan County Conservation Land Bank, are the successful bidders on the 58-acre Glenwood Inn waterfront property, with its 1,857 feet of natural shoreline. This highly conservation-worthy parcel is now under contract for public acquisition and permanent conservation.
The two conservation groups were disappointed when a private party outbid them earlier this year. (SJPT and Land Bank outbid on former Glenwood Inn property on Orcas Island) No details were given on how the change happened.
A few facts about the project:
Glenwood Inn is one of the few large shoreline properties on Orcas to come on the market in recent decades.
While Orcas is the largest island in the San Juan Islands archipelago, it has the lowest percentage (12%) of publicly accessible shoreline of any of the ferry-served islands. The property is in one of the highest priority regions for salmon recovery. We’re currently applying for grant funds to help us protect and restore this vital ecosystem.
This joint project with the Land Bank will protect and restore critical habitat, as well as (eventually) provide public access. The Land Bank will own and manage the preserve, while SJPT will hold a conservation easement ensuring permanent protection.
Please note, however, that public access will not be immediate. As managers of the property, the Land Bank will need to go through a public process to establish a management plan, initially for an Interim Period.
Planning, permitting, and project implementation are expected to take two to three years. Once all major work identified for the Interim Period is complete, the portion(s) of the property deemed appropriate for public access will be opened.
During the Interim Period, the property will be closed to public access. However, guided tours will be provided periodically as work progresses. Closure is necessary to ensure public safety and to enable work to proceed efficiently.
This multimillion-dollar project is a huge endeavor. We’ve secured short-term financing to enable the purchase. If all goes well, the transaction will close at the end of June. After that, we (SJPT) will begin fundraising for this project in earnest, and the Land Bank’s Interim planning process will begin.