Plans shift for Freeland’s Trillium ownership

Island County officials and Whidbey Camano Land Trust staff say they will pursue a slightly different ownership strategy for the Trillium Community Forest, located just north of Freeland.

Island County officials and Whidbey Camano Land Trust staff say they will pursue a slightly different ownership strategy for the Trillium Community Forest, located just north of Freeland.

The Land Trust will remain the landowner and the county will acquire a restrictive conservation easement on the property.

The Trillium Community Forest, over a square mile of contiguous forest providing non-motorized recreation on an established trail system, was acquired and preserved from development by the Land Trust with broad community support. The public will see no change on the ground; the area remains open for walking, mountain biking, equestrian and nature enjoyment purposes.

Originally, the idea was that the county would acquire the property from the Land Trust, which would hold the restrictive conservation easement. However, as the steering committee worked on the draft management plan for the Forest, both the Land Trust and Island County came to recognize there was more management work and oversight required than they originally envisioned. The partners agreed the Island County Parks Department was not in a financial situation to take on fee ownership at this point in time, even with financial support from the Land Trust.

This new ownership strategy is the best way to ensure the Trillium Community Forest is protected and kept natural, and open for appropriate recreational users,” county Public Works Director Bill Oakes said in a press release. “The county and Land Trust will continue to work together to promote what is in the best interest of the Community Forest and community.”

As an example of this continued collaboration, Land Trust Executive Director Pat Powell said, “We recently collaborated on submitting two state grant proposals that will increase public access to the Community Forest. The grants, if secured, will provide funds to acquire and develop a safely located parking lot for horse trailers and larger vehicles, and a new parking area and trail system where people with mobility impairment can more easily be outside in nature.”

A meeting will be scheduled in the next few months for the public to review and comment on the draft management plan.

To learn more about the Trillium Community Forest, visit


More in News

Screaming monkey | Island Scanner

The following items were selected from reports made to the Island County… Continue reading

It’s all in the family

‘They end up getting all of us, even though they saw only one of us’

Hannold, St. Clair face off for District 3 seat

Island County commissioner candidate Janet St. Clair said that if elected, she’ll… Continue reading

Town to decide 2 percent grants

The Town of Coupeville is in the process of deciding which nonprofits… Continue reading

County commissioners to focus on economic development

Having recently adopted a major update to the housing element, Island County… Continue reading

Shifty Sailors celebrating 25th anniversary

The maritime-themed musical group Shifty Sailors will celebrate their 25th anniversary with… Continue reading

State seeks input for civilian-military compatibility plan

Washington State Department of Commerce says it is drafting a Washington State… Continue reading

DNA leads to charges against burglary suspect

DNA evidence led to a criminal charge being filed against a man… Continue reading

Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News Group.
                                <em>Cornet Bay Company owners Arnie and Joanne Deckwa stand with their new seafood line of sauces. In the background, painted on their RV is the company’s logo depicting Cornet Bay, the view across from their office.</em>
Walmart picks up Cornet Bay Co.’s sauces

Though it’s been producing and selling gourmet sauces, dressing, seasonings and dips… Continue reading

Most Read