Illahee 5/20/15 Photos, Community Meeting, Transportation Report, TE Report, Outfall Report, Fundraising Efforts, Cell Phone Found

Photos.  Evidently the Bullock’s Oriole is common to the area but not often seen.  The Bullock male differs from the Baltimore Oriole male whose head is all black.  This one was photographed through a window and thus the glare.

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While on a tour through the Timbers Edge properties this large frog appeared along the path.

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Community Meeting.  From the comments we heard following the community meeting on Monday this was one of the best and most informative ones ever.  Much had to do with the county representatives who answered questions along with the community group working on suggested updates to the Illahee Community Plan and the County’s Comprehensive Plan.  Thanks to Michelle Keaton, Greg Cioc, and David Greetham from Kitsap County, Rick Feeney representing the West Sound Cycling and non-motorized trails, and Jim Brady and his group representing the Illahee community’s input.
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Transportation Report.  We saw this email following the meeting and decided to copy it regarding transportation issues raised.
Here are my further questions re: our transportation goals. Let me know what else I should ask, and I’ll compose an email to Transportation to see if we can get some follow-up answers.
 
1. A bike path up Illahee Road is $3.35 million, which did not sound like a possibility.
 
  a. Where does this number come from? When was it generated, and is the document public? does this document est. costs for other sections of road in Illahee?
  b. What level of improvement does this number represent? 
  c. Would there be an acceptable cheaper option? (I think there may very well be, having just walked the road)
 
4.How can the community inform the TIP application process? How can the we let Transportation know about such as the failing Illahee Creek culvert, and accidents along the road? 
 
5. How are our goals represented in the TIP application process? Can we read them?
 
6. Do our goals represent one item in TIP, or several? Should they be broken down into, for example, Illahee Hill, Roosevelt to University Point, Oceanview, and McWilliams?
 
7. We have heard of several studies on improving Oceanview. Where can we access these? Or for any of the three streets identified in our Community Goals.
 
8. How can we in the community meaningfully express our prioritization of Illahee transportation goals?
 
9. Does the county really have only 1.5 million allotted county-wide for bicycle / pedestrian improvements over the next 6 years, as seems to be indicated in the TIP?
 
Reference: 
 
TE Report.  The Timbers Edge report noted $71,000 has been raised in pledges and contributions to purchase the 25 acres, the first phase of the purchase plan.  Thanks to all those who have contributed!!!!!  With the help of Mr. Tallman’s $350,000 we are at 55% of the $767,000 purchase price.  If the Birkenfeld Trust grant comes through with $250,000 we are at 87%, and if with $300,000 we are at 94%.  
TE-oblique 
Major donations will be required to purchase the entire 36 acres, but we have a few more months to raise the funds for that purchase, all presuming the first purchase is successful.
 
While we would be around 90% with a successful Birkenfeld grant, we still need to raise roughly between $50,000 and $100,000 to make the purchase, so any help or suggestions are appreciated.
 
Outfall Report.   The Illahee Settlement Outfall subject was discussed and it was recommended that a meeting be arranged with Kitsap County to discuss the issues, rather than retain legal council.
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Fundraising Efforts.  How do we raise the funds to purchase Timbers Edge is a question one group of supporters is asking and then implementing them.  One plan is for signs in the area and 200 have been ordered and should show up soon.  Another is a T-shirt campaign which is described below.
Tshirt

The Lost Continent Project Shirts

As part of our urgent fundraising campaign to purchase the Timbers Edge properties for the Illahee Preserve, the IFP non-profit is having a T-shirt drive. 

Purchase a T-shirt (short or long sleeve) or hoodie with our exclusive design.  Show everyone you do care about the future of our community and help build awareness of this project.  All proceeds will go towards expansion of the Preserve.

If not for yourself, maybe you want to purchase some for kids and grandkids?  We have a goal of selling 250 in the next 8 days, so act fast and help spread the word about this drive!

Please visit:  https://www.bonfirefunds.com/the-lost-continent-project 

We appreciate your support.

Cell Phone Found.  We were asked to post this note after a cell phone was found near the Illahee Community Dock.
 
Cell Phone found Alcatel, One Touch Metro PCS 4g found at Illahee Dock kiosk on Wed before Port meeting.  Contact 792-6934.
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 5/15/15 Community Meeting, Sub-Area Plan, Road Plans, Outfall Issue, TE Update

Community Meeting.   The Illahee Community non-profit group is holding their quarterly meeting on Monday, May 18, 2015, at the Sylvan Way Library at 6:30 pm.  The public is welcome and there will be several Kitsap County employees there to discuss the Comprehensive Plan Update and transportation issues.  Additionally, we will discuss the Illahee Outfall and have a report on the fundraising efforts to purchase Timbers Edge.

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Sub-Area Plan.   Illahee has its own community plan, called a sub-area plan, along with a few other unique communities in Kitsap County.  Illahee’s plan needs to be updated as part of the county’s comprehensive plan update and a handful of residents volunteered to help after the February 2015 quarterly meeting, and have been meeting weekly to make recommendations.  We will likely hear from them also.
ComPlanCover 
Road Plans.   Separate from the Comp Plan, though working with the comp plan goals, is the county’s road plan, and county reps will be presenting their plans for Illahee and answering questions.
 
Outfall Issue.   The Illahee Outfall issue has been around for some time and a few months ago the beach section of the outfall was installed.  The installation was covered in detail in earlier updates because it caught Illahee residents unaware, in spite of the community entering into a settlement agreement with Kitsap County, the Port of Illahee, and the developer, that required notice and communication with the Illahee Community, along with meeting the requirements of the agreement.  It will be interesting to see what transpires.  An email was sent to the county to see if they could have someone explain what happened but so far no response has been received.  The community may have to look at taking legal actions if the county is unwilling to meet and try to resolve the issue.  The most recent photo we have of the outfall pipe is shown below.
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TE Update.   With the community and the Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit group trying to purchase the Timbers Edge properties in two phases it will be good to see where they are at.  The first phase is to raise $767,000 and the the second phase is to raise $933,000.  Check out the new website for more information.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/10/15 Updates, TE Update, Community Mtg 5/18, Port Mtg 5/13, Pollution Mtg 5/12, FEMA Mtg 5/12, Wildlife Reports

Updates.  A request was made that these Updates cover only one subject, rather than so many.  This update is why the request isn’t feasible.  There are too many important issues and we don’t cover all that are requested.

TE Update.  With the count down now less than 2 months, actually 55 days, to being able to purchase the Timbers Edge 25 acres for $767,000, some are getting worried as the donations are only trickling in. One person on limited Social Security pledged $1000, and another from Bainbridge Island pledged $10,000.  That together with just over $6,000 from the Great Give brings us to about $70,000 received or pledged.  We don’t know if we will be successful with the Birkenfeld Trust grant we applied for.  If we are it could be for $300,000 or $250,000, which would be added to the owners contribution of $350,000, but still leaves us $47,000 or $97,000 short.  That means we need to average about $1,000 or $2,000 a day from now until July 6, when the closing documents need to be started in order to close on August 5, 2015.  Thanks to all who have already donated!  Tours of the property to be purchased will be given upon request and we will try to answer any questions.  Call (360) 479-1049.
 
Community Mtg 5/18.  We received the following notice of the quarterly meeting of the Illahee Community Group on Monday evening (5/18/15).  
 
The 2nd Quarter Illahee Community Meeting, is officially scheduled for 18 May 2015, at 6:30 PM, in the meeting room at the Kitsap Regional Library, on Sylvan Way in East Bremerton. We have guest Speaker Michelle Keeton, from Kitsap County DCD, who will be answering questions regarding our Subarea Plan Review.  Other agenda items include: Fund raising for Timbers Edge and the Birkenfeld Trust, and the Illahee Outfall Settlement Agreement.
There have been a number of questions regarding the outcome of the outfall installation that was reported on in earlier updates.  We hope the county will be able to send someone to answer the questions Illahee residents have as the installation doesn’t appear to meet the conditions the community agreed to.
 
Port Mtg 5/13.   On Wednesday at 5 pm the Port of Illahee Commissioners hold their monthly meeting at the Port meeting room at the lower level of 5500 Illahee Road.
 
Pollution Mtg 5/12.   In our last update we noted the Tuesday meeting “Pollution Detectives – Partners in Pollution Prevention” at the Brownsville Marina at 6 pm.  We checked the Health District sign at the Illahee Community Dock which has been there now for years and without a date on it, see the photo below.  We will likely be attending another meeting on Tuesday (see the next meeting notice) and hope someone can cover the meeting and possible get a photo or two of it?
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FEMA  Mtg 5/12.   A number of waterfront homeowners received post cards telling them there was a change in the Flood Hazard maps and more information would be available at meetings in Port Orchard and Suquamish.  Below is a photo of the post card that was received.
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Wildlife Reports.   Thanks to those who capture photos and information such as was received recently!
This might be interesting for your next update.


I was outside at dusk last night and got photos of what looked at first like a half-sized hummingbird hovering near some verbena.

It turned out to be an enormous moth called a White-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata), commonly known as the hummingbird moth:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyles_lineata

Photos attached.  You can’t even see the wings while it hovers but the flash caught them.


Also, Karrie saw a coyote in the back yard last week. 

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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/5/15 Great Give Update, Pollution Detective Meeting

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Great Give Update.   We were informed that we didn’t properly link the Great Give website to make it easy to contribute to the Illahee Forest Preserve.  So we checked the Great Give website and found the Preserve had already had 10 donations for $2,385, and decided we should try again properly link it in case some of you had problems. 

 
This is a One Day Event on 5/5/15 where there will be 10-20% match.

 
 
For more information go to www.TheLostContinent.org

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Pollution Detective Meeting.   Remember the Health District signs noting our shellfish beds are polluted?  The signs were up for many months and maybe years with just the date changing (see the photo of an old dated sign below) and may still be up at Illahee State Park, the Port of Illahee dock, and Brownsville.  We have gotten so used to seeing them we can’t recall if they are still up or have been removed.  We presume they are still there because of the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday (5/12/15) at 6 pm the Brownsville Marina — see the attached notice.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 5/4/15 Tent Caterpillars, Illahee Photos, Mating Crabs, TE Tours, Website Name, Great Give Reminder, Donate or Pledge?, FAQ

Tent Caterpillars.  Seems like this might be the year of larger than usual tent caterpillar infestations based on what we’ve seen so far in Illahee.  All the local apple trees in this area of Illahee are affected.

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Illahee Photos.  Some photos of boat traffic on April 30th with the Illahee State Park dock in the foreground.
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Mating Crabs.  These two crabs forgot to check the tide when they got interested in each other.  After we disturbed them they moved into deeper water, and they are fortunate the seagulls didn’t discover them.
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TE Tours.  Timbers Edge tours will be conducted this Wednesday evening (5/6/15) at 6 pm and Saturday morning (5/9/15) at 10 am.  Parking is available along the street at the east end of Nobles Lane.  For more information call 479-1049.
 
Website Name.  Where did the website name come from?   ”The Lost Continent” is a historical reference from the community for the watershed area that is trying to be purchased.  We first saw it as the name on the grant that resulted in the purchase of 90 additional acres for the Preserve.  Having ventured up Illahee Creek and traversing much of the watershed, we understand why it was so named.
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Great Give Reminder.  Tuesday May 5th is the day of the great give and the Illahee Forest Preserve is on the list.
GreatGive2015 
Donate or Pledge?   This is a dilemma for some who want to help with the purchase of Timbers Edge.  On-line donations can be limited by credit card limits.  The purchase of Timbers Edge requires many substantial donations, in the thousand dollar ranges, which is why pledge forms are being used.  Some are opting for both, others with a pledge.  The pledge form is shown below.
Pledge Form FINAL
 
FAQ.  Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ sheets are often helpful, especially on major projects. The FAQ for the purchase of Timbers Edge just came out last week.  It is long, but informative, so we thought it would be good to include it in an update.
 

The Lost Continent/Timbers Edge Purchase Campaign

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Based on questions asked at meetings, as well as comments, phone calls, and emails, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding our efforts to expand The Lost Continent through the purchase of the Timbers Edge development. If you have questions not included here, or simply would like to discuss particular concerns further, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

DONATION QUESTIONS

1.  How do I donate? The Illahee Forest Preserve has established The Lost Continent/Timbers Edge fund at the Kitsap Community Foundation (“KCF”) to hold and manage the contributions to our fundraising campaign.  KCF will issue a tax acknowledgement to each donor upon receiving a donation to The Lost Continent/Timbers Edge fund.

Donations can be made by check paid to the order of “Kitsap Community Foundation”, Memo: The Lost Continent/Timbers Edge fund, and mailed to: PO Box 3670, Silverdale, WA 98383.

Donations can also be made online by credit card at the KCF website (note:  credit card fees will be applied):  http://tinyurl.com/nksr6lp

2.  Can I make a pledge and donate later?  Yes, we have a number of people who wanted to pledge their support before the KCF donation site was set up.  We are still accepting pledges and pledge forms are available on the website.  Completed pledge forms can be mailed to: Illahee Forest Preserve, C/O Jonathan Buesch, Treasurer, 6253 East Boulevard, Bremerton, WA 98311

3.  Can I donate stocks or land?   Yes, the Kitsap Community Foundation can accept gifts of stocks and marketable assets such as real property.  Please contact the Foundation or the Illahee Forest Preserve for more information.

4.  What can I do to help?  We can always use more help!  The Illahee Forest Preserve is an example or model of how volunteers can manage and maintain a major nature park and preserve.  We currently need help with our capital campaign to purchase the Lost Continent and Timbers Edge properties.  We are also looking for help with the oversight and maintenance of the Preserve properties and encourage people to contact us at our three supporting websites:

TheLostContinent.org (for our Long Range acquisition goals, visions, and plans)

llaheeForestPreserve.org (for Illahee Preserve management and administrative support)

IllaheeCommunity.com (for Update reports on wildlife, the Preserve, and community)

WHY QUESTIONS

5.  Why do you want to purchase the Timbers Edge development? The short answer is the development properties were previously targeted for the expansion of the Illahee Preserve and represent key and crucial properties needed to protect habitat and wildlife corridors and provide connectivity for a desired regional trail system.  The Illahee Preserve has only been in existence since 2001 when the Illahee School Trust Land was purchased from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  In 2005 approximately 90 acres of adjacent properties were added to the Preserve, but not included were the targeted properties that had become part of an impending development called Timbers Edge.

6.  Why do they want to sell the property and the development?  That is a question that has perplexed many as they have a Hearing Examiner approved development worth at least the amount they are asking for it.  The answer is that both the property owner and the developer have stated that they realize the importance of the property to the local community and to the Illahee Preserve, and they would rather it be saved than developed.  (This is the same response we received years earlier when other nearby property was purchased from developers to be added to the Illahee Preserve.)  And in this case, the property owner has also agreed to help with a substantial and generous donation toward the purchase.

7.  Wouldn’t it be better to develop the property and have more tax revenue for the county?  Not Necessarily.  Even ignoring the tangible and intangible benefits of having an interconnected and well functioning natural habitat and wildlife preserve, this line of thinking has been proven wrong by numerous peer reviewed studies.  Quoting from “The Impact Of Parks And Open Spaces On Property Values” by John L. Crompton, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2007:

“The conventional wisdom among many decision-makers and taxpayers is that development is the “highest and best use” of vacant land for increasing municipal revenues. The belief is that development increases the tax base and thereby lowers each individual’s property tax payments. Hence, larger property tax revenues are likely to accrue to communities if land was built-out with homes, rather than being used as parks or open space.

In most situations, this conventional wisdom is erroneous. When open space is transformed into homes, the taxes of existing residents invariably increase because while the development generates tax revenue, the cost of providing public services and infrastructure to that development is likely to exceed the tax revenue emanating from it. This conclusion emerges from a review of a cost of community studies reported by over 50 different research teams in 21 different states (Crompton 2004).”

8.  Isn’t this the project that prompted the Port of Illahee to fund a stream study?  Yes, there were actually a number of water and hydrology studies done on these properties as the area is a critical aquifer recharge area supplying groundwater to Illahee Creek and also to the North Perry Water District.  The studies showed the importance of infiltrating rain water back into both the shallow and deep aquifers, and the importance it is to the base flows in Illahee Creek.  The studies are referenced in the publication Illahee Creek Watershed Surface Water Management Plan, Parametrix, Bellevue, Washington, October 2008.

9.  Don’t we have enough parks and opens space already?  Surveys continue to show that Kitsap residents desire more parks, yet the county is not funding acquisitions (other than some recent large projects that became available in North Kitsap) and can barely maintain existing parks, relying on volunteers to manage parks like the Illahee Preserve.   As the county becomes more and more developed, there are going to be fewer and fewer parks and accessible areas of open space.  The Lost Continent area is a particularly unique forested area, wildlife preserve, and salmon bearing watershed, in the highest density part of the county, and can provide important habitat and recreational opportunities.  Once developed, there is no going back, which is why it is so critical to protect this natural gem for future generations!

FUNDING QUESTIONS

10.  Why is the timeframe to purchase so short? The project has been through ownership changes that have delayed its getting started.  While the new owner would like to sell it to be part of the Illahee Preserve, he has loan notes coming due this summer.  Additionally he has a county deadline of March 2016 to begin the project and needs to know soon if we will make a purchase so he can get his final permits to begin construction, should we fail to purchase the property.

11.  Why are you asking us to contribute when grants are available?  We applied for the only grant we were aware of that fit the timeframe we were given, which is a Birkenfeld Trust grant that was applied for in March, with the results to be announced in June.  Most grants require a much longer turnaround time and the application schedules did not fit our situation. 

Additionally, grants rarely fund a major portion of a project and normally require a match, or a percentage of the project costs.  The bottom line is if we want this we will need to help pay for it.

12.  Why didn’t you ask for funding from local, state, or national government sources?   Again, the timeframe was too short to get the information to elected officials, much less into any appropriation plans or bills.  Nevertheless, elected officials have been contacted and are supportive of our efforts. Again, nearly all government money requires a corresponding match.

13.  Do you really think it is possible to raise $767,000 and $1,700,000?   Yes, but only because of the generous contribution of the property owner, coupled with the possibility of a substantial grant, which means we need only raise about half of the above amounts. By having two options (25 and 36 acres) it becomes more doable.  We feel confident we can raise the funds for the 25 acres especially if we are successful with the Birkenfeld Trust grant.  And once we are successful with this first phase, we think with two additional months to raise more funds, we can be successful with the purchase of the remaining acreage.

14.  When will you know if you are going to be successful for the 25 acres?  We will know as soon as the contributions reach the $767,000 threshold.  With the $350,000 gift of the owner, the amount needed to be raised would be $417,000, which is doable.  We have applied for a Birkenfeld Trust grant of $300,000 and will find out in June if we are successful, which would bring the amount to be raised to $117,000.  We hope to have those funds raised before July.

15.  You seem to be banking on the Birkenfeld Trust grant coming through. Why do you think your application will be accepted?   We don’t know what other applications are being considered by the Birkenfeld Trust, but feel we are a good match for the grant when we look at the criteria they have posted.  First of all, we satisfy the Kitsap County requirement.  Second, there is a critical urgency to our request that will not allow us to wait for another grant cycle.  We only have a few months to secure the property or it will be developed.  Third, we have a great naming opportunity, a requirement of the grant, and have an architect working on a design for a donor recognition area.  Fourth, the Illahee Preserve is a highly visible major nature preserve in one of the most densely populated areas of Kitsap County and provides unique community educational and recreational opportunities (a forested Central Park, a wildlife preserve, a nearly self-contained watershed, and a salmon stream).  Fifth, the Illahee Preserve is a model of how community volunteers can manage and maintain a major heritage park (working collaboratively with local governments) into a premier nature attraction.  And finally, we have a history of being successful in the endeavors we have undertaken as the Preserve as expanded from 352 acres in 2001 and to 545 acres in 2011 (which includes the 104 acre golf course).

16.  Why didn’t you start fund raising earlier?  We started limited fundraising efforts at the end of 2014 when the purchase proposal was first presented.  It concentrated on Illahee Forest Preserve board members and those close to the project and raised roughly $50,000 in gifts and pledges.  However, the “critical mass” did not come about until early March 2015 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed, which also allowed for the Birkenfeld grant application to be submitted in mid-March.  This is when the capital campaign officially began with weekly planning and strategy meetings to determine how best to raise the necessary funding to purchase the properties.

17.  What are your fundraising plans?   Because of the short timeframe, we are already many months behind a normal fundraising schedule.  Major donors are the key to a successful campaign and those individuals need to be contacted now and in parallel with other grassroots efforts.  The two-prong parallel effort is underway with the emphasis on directly contacting all potential donors.

18.  What amounts are you looking for from donors?  Most potential donors have money available for causes they like and are supportive of.  In our case the property owner is contributing $500,000 towards the purchase and stated the best use for this land is for it to be part of the Preserve rather than be developed.  We are looking for financial gifts from other major donors ranging in the $100,000 to $250,000 range who feel the same way with a goal of raising $550,000.  Our second tier donor range is from gifts under $100,000 and over $25,000 with a goal of raising $350,000.  The remaining $300,000 needed would come from over 100 individuals with gifts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

19.  What do you mean when you say donations may be effectively doubled?  If we are successful with the Timbers Edge purchases, they are planned to be used as a 50% match for a state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) grant to purchase the remaining Lost Continent properties.  Landowner agreements have already been obtained for a majority of these properties, meaning the landowners are interested in either selling or granting a conservation easement on their property to expand the Preserve.  The goal is to complete all of the remaining Lost Continent properties acquisitions with a successful 2016 RCO grant application.

20.  What is your timeline for completing these plans?  Our goal is to complete the Timbers Edge purchase ASAP, and the Lost Continent acquisitions beginning in 2016.  Our brief schedule is as follows:

April                Website, Print Media, Fundraising Plans

May-June        Fund Raising

July                  Prepare papers for August 5th closing for 25 acre TE purchase

July-August     Fund Raising

September       Prepare papers for October 4th closing for remaining TE purchase

Early 2016       Prepare RCO application

May 2016        Submit RCO application to purchase Lost Continent properties

21.  Who can we contact for more information?  The primary contacts are:  Jim Aho, IFP President, (360) 479-1049, Rob Spearman, IFP Vice President, (360) 377-5547, Jon Buesch, IFP Treasurer, (360) 415-9885, or Merrill Evans, IFP Secretary (360) 377-3545.

Illahee 4/29/15 Nesting Birds, Foraging Deer, Options Agreement, TE Trail Crew, Tours, The Great Give on 5/5

Nesting Birds.   Below are photos of a black-capped chickadee nest with four eggs that was established between two Christmas wreaths before they were supposed to be taken down.

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The second nest is of a Canada goose that had 5 eggs and we are waiting if anything is going to happen.  Evidently it can take 25 to 30 days for Canada goose eggs to hatch, and often a raccoon finds them first, and one year the eggs never did hatch.

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Foraging Deer.   Not a good time for local gardeners with so many deer around.  Our grafted apple tree is now leafless.  These three (2 + 1) looked pretty well fed.  
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Options Agreement.   The March Memorandum of Understanding to purchase the Timbers Edge properties was replaced by an Options Agreement that was signed this morning (4/29/15), allowing the fund raising campaign to begin in earnest.   Large sized post cards like the one below were sent out last week to about 10,000 addresses to alert residents of the need and short time frame we have to complete the purchase. 
PostCard 
TE Trail Crew.   In anticipation of having a signed Options Agreement, a trail along Carr Street was cleared of fallen limbs and logs, and a path forged to show the properties targeted for purchase.  We had three hard working young helpers on Saturday morning, Celine, Gavin, and Luke moving logs and limbs and clearing paths in support of upcoming tours.  They live close by and know the area quite well and we may clear a trail to the creek using the path they found.
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TE Tours.   Thanks for your patience to those who requested tours of the TE properties.  It was decided the tours needed to wait until the Options Agreement was signed.   We are looking at scheduling them on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings and by special appointments.  More information in the next Update.
 
The Great Give on 5/5.   Please consider giving to the Illahee Forest Preserve next Tuesday (5/5/15) when your gift may be increased by possibly 15-20%, if similar to past years.  The Kitsap Community Foundation is processing the Lost Continent/Timbers Edge campaign funding and all the funds received for the Illahee Forest Preserve from the Great Give will go to the campaign.  The link is:  https://www.kitsapgreatgive.org/#npo/illahee-forest-preserve and below is more information.
GreatGive2015 
Jim Aho 

Illahee 4/17/15 Spring Scenes, Water Festival, The Lost Continent, New Website, Homeless Camps, Reporters Needed, TE Tours, Purchase Donations, Hairless Squirrel, Common Loon

Spring Scenes.  The goose below seemed ready to either attack or fly as I approached its nest.

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Water Festival.  On Tuesday over 1100 fourth graders attended the 2015 Kitsap Water Festival at the Fairgrounds.  It was an amazing event that has been going on for 21 years, that included display areas where a table promoting the Illahee Preserve and moreover, the purchase of the Timbers Edge properties. The photo below shows the question that was asked of those who stopped.
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If the question was answered correctly a handout with a tattoo attached was provided.  The cover of the handout is shown below.
The tattoo, which is only temporary and easily removable with baby oil, is shown below on a fourth grader’s hand who wants to help with the campaign to purchase the properties.
photo 
The Lost Continent.  This is a name that was given to the area many years ago by children who explored the forest and Illahee Creek.  We heard this many years ago from some old-timers, and then saw it on the name of a grant in 2002 that resulted in the addition of about 90 acres to the Preserve.  It will likely be the name of a proposed grant in 2016 if the Timbers Edge properties are purchased.
TLC Logo  
New Website:  TheLostContinent.org.  When the tattoos were distributed on Tuesday (4/14/15) the website went online even though it was still being developed.  It is to be used to promote not only the purchase of the Timbers Edge properties, but also the purchase or conservation easements on the remaining targeted properties.
 
Homeless Camps.  After realizing the mess homeless camps can become if they are allowed to remain in the Preserve, volunteers have begun monitoring the Preserve more closely, and posting any site as soon as it is discovered.  This site shown below was discovered on Tuesday and posted on Tuesday evening.
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The notice looks like this, and they are given 24 hours to vacate the site, which they did when the site was checked on Wednesday.
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The back side of the notice notes services that are available.  The postings and notices are done in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Department.
 2015-4-17 Misc 003
Reporters Needed.  We are always looking for new reporters to tell the Preserve and Illahee stories, and especially younger ones.  Let us know if you are interested or have any suggestions of someone who might be reluctant to volunteer.
 
Timbers Edge Tours.  Thanks to those interested in touring the Timbers Edge property.  We need to clear a pathway of fallen branches and blackberries, and decide what to do about all the stinging nettles, and hope to have something going by next weekend.
 
Purchase Donations.  We will be getting information about received donations and how to donate for another update.
Hairless Squirrel.  Thanks for the photo and does anyone know what is wrong with it?
hairless Squirrel (5) 
Common Loon.  For those who like bird sounds, our favorite is the loon, and we only hear their sounds when they come through in the spring and fall.  We only heard their distinct call once this spring and were able to get photo.  Other favorite calls are from the ravens that seem to stay more in the forest.
2015-4-13 Misc 007 
Jim Aho

Illahee 4/4/15 Meeting Report, Development Looms, Development Expenses, One Time Opportunity, Plan A, Plan B, Purchase Campaign Meetings, Suggestions, Tour Interest?

Meeting Report.  Lots of questions about what happened at Tuesday’s meeting with the Timbers Edge developer, John Johnson.

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Development Looms.  The message that came through at the meeting is development planning is on going.  They have a deadline to begin the development and while they are providing a window of opportunity to purchase, they need to be ready to develop if the purchase fails.  We found out on Tuesday that the 87 lot plat below reflected 50′ wide lots that were required by one home builder out of Seattle.    TE87Plat
 
Development Expenses.  We found out they not only have development expenses, but also loan fees with interest incurring, and yet they have significantly discounted the price with their contributions of $350,000 for Plan A and $500,000 for Plan B.  They really would rather it be purchased than developed.
One Time Opportunity.  This really is a once-in-a- life-time opportunity for the residents of Kitsap County to expand one of their Heritage Parks with the purchase of critical forest and riparian habitat.  Has anyone ever heard of a property owner and developer with an approved plat, being willing to give it up so it could become part of a Preserve?  Moreover, they were the ones who suggested applying for the Birkenfeld grant. These things just don’t usually happen.  They said they wanted to work with us and we said this is what we want, and it is happening.  They are really great people and it is still hard to believe it could become part of the Preserve.
 
Plan A.  Plan A offers the best opportunity for a purchase of 25 acres, which allows for a 10 acre development, but it is dependent on a successful Birkenfeld grant, and even at that requires donations and contributions to reach the purchase goal amount.  
IMG 
Plan B.  Plan B is the ultimate challenge, which is to purchase the entire 36 acres, and it will take some major donors to step forward.
 
Purchase Campaign Meetings.  There is a group meeting each week to plan the purchase campaign.  It is a small group that would like have others join them.  They meet at the Pacific Planetarium at 817 Pacific Avenue at 5pm on Thursdays.
 
Suggestions.  The group is looking for more suggestions on how to get the word out to the larger Kitsap community and how to raise the funds necessary to purchase the TE properties.  
 ObliqueIllahee
Tour Interest?  They are also trying to determine if there is interest in touring the TE properties.  Let us know if you are interested in a tour.  As someone said, seeing is believing (which is an idiom first recorded in this form in 1639, according to Wikipedia).
 
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/30/15 Spring Blossoms, Work Party, Trail Compliments, Timbers Edge Meeting, Contribution Thermometer, Funding Plan, Planning Meeting, Eurasian Wigeon

Spring Blossoms.  A great time of the year to enjoy the colors that surround us.
2015-3-30 Misc 020 

Work Party.  Last Friday was the last of the Washington Youth Academy work parties until this fall.  They placed wood chips on trails, removed invasive species, and helped clean up some very messy and smelly campsites.  Thanks to these nearly 50 young cadets for all their work and the East Bremerton Rotary for planning and coordinating the work parties and providing supervision.  

2015-3-30 Misc 006 
Trail Compliments.  We receive many many compliments on the trails in the Illahee Preserve, and it is especially rewarding when they say we have the best maintained trails around.  Again, the thanks goes to all the volunteers, as the Preserve is an example or model of what can be done by volunteers, service groups, businesses, and the surrounding community.

2015-3-30 Misc 009
 2015-3-30 Misc 010
Timbers Edge Meeting.  Another positive situation is the new owner and new developer of Timbers Edge offering the community a window of opportunity to purchase either 25 acres, or the entire 36 acre development, and have agreed to contribute towards its purchase.  There will be an opportunity to meet the new developer, John Johnson, and review the development plans if funds are not raised. The meeting is on Tuesday evening (3/31) at the Sylvan Way Library and begins at 6:15 pm.  Please invite your neighbors or anyone interested in preservation of our natural areas.  There will be pledge forms available if anyone is able to help.
Pledge Form 
Contribution Thermometer.  This afternoon there was a contribution thermometer being put in the kiosk at the Almira Parking lot.  We left before it was put in place and will include a photo in the next update.  
 
Funding Plan.  Below is the funding plan for the Timbers Edge purchase.  It pretty much tells the story about how much work it will take to raise the funds to purchase Timbers Edge.  This is where the collective community must brainstorm to figure out how to make it happen.  We think Plan A is achievable, but worry about Plan B.  If you have ideas please attend the planning meeting noted below or respond with an email to this group.
 CC Plan TE
Planning Meeting.  The weekly planning meeting normally held on Thursday will be held on Wednesday (4/1) this week.  They meet at 5 pm at the Planetarium at 817 Pacific Ave and anyone interested in helping is invited.
 
Eurasian Wigeon.  We were asked if any Eurasian wigeon (with a cinnamon colored head) were sighted in Illahee this year as in past years and they were, but we didn’t see them until a month ago.  Eurasian wigeons are seen frequently in the area with American wigeon and it is reported they take a wrong turn at the Bering Sea and accidentally follow the American shoreline instead of the Asian one during their fall migration.
2015-3-18 Misc 028 
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/25/15 Blossoms, Thursday Planning Meeting, Friday Work Party, Tuesday Developer Meeting, Rotary Club Appreciation, Beach Education Classes

Blossoms.  The first photo is several weeks old and is of an apricot tree.

2015-3-18 Misc 0492015-3-026 
Thursday Planning Meeting.  Help is needed to figure out how to plan and run a Capital Campaign.  Last Thursday we began brainstorming on what we need to do to accomplish a very big task, i.e. figure out how we can raise enough funds to purchase the Timbers Edge development properties.  We will be meeting every Thursday (until further notice) at 5 pm at the Pacific Planetarium at 817 Pacific Ave in downtown Bremerton and can use any ideas or help anyone can provide.  If you can’t attend, maybe you have some ideas — please let us know as the clock is counting down and soon our 5 months to raise the funds will be 4 months as the start date was 3/8/15.
 
Tuesday Developer Meeting.  On Tuesday (3/31/15) the community will have an opportunity to meet with John Johnson, the developer who has been given the task to either sell the property to the community or develop it.  John would rather the community purchase the property, but he also needs to be ready to develop it if they fail to raise the funds to purchase it.  He will share the plans they have to develop it at its approved density or at a reduced density should the community purchase all but the Avery Homestead.  Of course the goal for the community is to purchase all the properties so there would be no development.  The meeting is at 6:15 pm on Tuesday at the Sylvan Way Library. (The map below has been presented before but new people access our website and have been added to the email list so it is shown again.)
contributions-map-20141208 (1)
Friday Work Party.  Another large work party is planned for Friday (3/27) with the Washington Youth Academy.  This is an all day event that should take care of all the remaining wood chip piles, plus lots of other tasks as we get ready for another year of growing popularity of the Illahee Preserve.  Below is a photo of a new batch of chips at Trail Marker #12, just where they are needed. 
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Rotary Club Appreciation.  Thanks again to the Rotary Club of East Bremerton for coordinating these events and for helping make the Preserve such a great attraction for so many people!!!!
 
Beach Education Classes.  One of the best classes around is the Beach Naturalist Class that is offered only once a year and it begins on April 9th.  Illahee has over 3 miles of some great shorelines and access points to get to them.  Details of the class are:
 

Explore the Wonders of Puget Sound with Kitsap Beach Naturalists 

 WSU Kitsap Extension and UW SeaGrant proudly present the 2015 Beach Naturalist training, which is open to the public. If you want to learn more about marine life and local water issues while exploring beaches, then this is the class for you!

 When: Thursday evenings April 9 through May 14 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Where:  Poulsbo Marine Science Center

Who: Adults and teens are welcome to attend. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: Cost for 6 weeks is $65. Scholarships are available.

 Surrounded by water, the Kitsap Peninsula is an amazing place to learn about and enjoy sea life. Over the course of six evening classes and a variety of field trips, we’ll learn about sea stars, clams, crabs, and other cool critters as well as seaweeds and plants that live on our beaches. We’ll also discuss Salish Sea oceanography and shoreline living, conservation, and restoration.

 After the training, trainees can choose to volunteer in exciting service projects, which include beach explorations, local community events and service projects that help protect and enhance Kitsap shorelines. 

 For more information visit WSU’s website at http//kitsap.wsu.edu or register online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/935697.

 
Jim Aho