Spending most of her day indoors as a dietitian at Whidbey General Hospital, Lori Taylor is delighted when she gets an opportunity to step outside.
During extended breaks, she’s found a nature trail near her workplace to be particularly rewarding.
“I just call it ‘pushing the reset button,’” she said.
The Krueger Woods Trail was recently completed, giving other people in Coupeville a similar chance to unwind.
A joint project between the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, the Town of Coupeville and the hospital, the trail got the finishing touches when a work party created a new access point to reach the trail loop April 26.
Members from the land trust, town and hospital gathered May 13 for a ribbon-cutting to officially open the trail to the public.
The trail loop was already in existence, but entering or exiting from N.W. 1st Street often meant intruding on the privacy of residents at Krueger Commons Townhomes.
So, the parties worked together to cut out a new entry point farther away from the condominiums with access at N.W. Wilkes Street.
The new trail through the woods modified an existing “deer trail” and leads walkers to the loop.
“We wanted to be the best neighbors we could be. That’s why we rerouted the trail,” said Janelle Castro, outreach manager for the Whidbey Camano Land Trust.
“Now by developing an additional section, it makes a very nice loop that’s convenient for hospital employees and for the community at large to utilize.”
A land trust board member approached the hospital’s Green Team about the partnership.
Taylor, who leads the hospital’s Green Team, said the hospital will do its part by helping maintain the trail and picking up trash.
“It’s not a trail for employees,” Taylor said. “It’s a trail for the public. To me, it’s one of those things that benefits both parties. We have a place to walk. It’s a place for the public and we can help out the land trust with stewardship.”
The wooded property is owned by the town with a portion protected through a conservation easement with the land trust, established in 2004. The greater property was once known as the Krueger Farm.
The Whidbey Camano Land Trust, a nonprofit that works to preserve rural and scenic land unique to the islands’ way of life, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Part of its theme this year is “Partnerships for the Future.” Teaming up with the hospital on the trail project is one example.
The land trust is holding a 30th anniversary celebration Aug. 16 at the Camp Casey Conference Center, near Fort Casey State Park, and is looking for volunteers to assist with numerous hands-on activities planned.
The family-geared event will go from 2-5 p.m. at the picnic area and will include a salmon barbecue, guest speakers, live music, kite flying, guided tours and bird and bat house building.
The cost will be $10.
For more information, call 360-222-3310, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the land trust’s website at www.wclt.org