On any given day at Bayshore Preserve near Shelton, visitors stroll its paths through native upland meadow, Garry oak trees and Oakland Bay shoreline. During the school year, groups of students can be found engaging in environmental lab work for their science classes. And in November people from the surrounding area flock there to witness the chum salmon run in Johns Creek and to interact with Capitol Land Trust (CLT) salmon docents.
Since its conservation by CLT in 2014, this 78-acre nature preserve has become an ecological local jewel for members of the South Sound community and beyond. Formerly a 9-hole golf course, today Bayshore Preserve draws an ever-increasing number of people who want to access this recovering landscape where they can enjoy recreational and educational activities.
As Bayshore Preserve’s popularity has grown, so has the need for additional public amenities. With funds from a generous bequest, CLT recently purchased the neighboring property, adding 4 acres to the preserve.
This expansion gives CLT the opportunity to increase public access to the preserve by creating overflow parking as well as a permanent location for school bus parking. The new preserve entrance will ensure safe, year-round access for all visitors, including the hundreds of students already experiencing Bayshore Preserve as a living laboratory each year.
“As one of CLT’s Ambassador Preserves, we know the 1.5 miles of trails, wildlife viewing opportunities and outdoor classroom experiences at Bayshore are unique,” says CLT Executive Director Dave Winter. “Our vision is to increase accessibility for everyone, and we are proud to now be working towards a nature preserve that is more inclusive for students, families, and cultures.”
Bayshore Preserve is one of several public access preserves CLT has established where community members can spend time outside at these special places and experience first-hand the restoration of natural ecological systems.