Their latest effort involves creating the only public beach access to Possession Sound on southeast Whidbey Island near the community of Glendale. A loan from The Conservation Fund gave them the capital they needed to complete the purchase of three adjoining waterfront properties. The land trust plans to restore the properties to improve water quality and habitat for salmon and other wildlife. Island County will eventually own a conservation easement on the properties, ensuring permanent public access.

“Three adjacent waterfront properties with different owners coming on the market at the same time was such a rare opportunity. Even as we went under contract, other offers were coming in. The Conservation Fund’s land conservation loan was the only chance we had to make this happen.”

—Ryan Elting, Conservation Director