A long-treasured forest all spruced up
In 2016, Capitol Land Trust (CLT) purchased the Darlin Creek Preserve from Aloha Lumber, ensuring the protection of a long-treasured forest and wetland enjoyed by nearby communities. The preserve spans over 300 acres and Darlin and Pants creeks run through the property before draining into the Black River. The creeks support important spawning and rearing habitat and migration corridors for healthy runs of steelhead, cutthroat, coho, and Chinook salmon. Beaver ponds scattered throughout the property contribute to the habitat complexity of the site and help regulate water flow through a 100-acre wetland complex.
Since purchasing the property, CLT has embarked on restoration efforts there, including the replacement of a two fish blocking culverts, made possible by funding from the Washington Coast Restoration Initiative through the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. CLT has also partnered with Native Plant Salvage Foundation to remove invasive species and plant native plants. Visitors to the grand opening of the preserve on June 28th will have the opportunity to take a tour to the new bridge over Darlin Creek and learn about the restoration work taking place on the property.
The trails on the preserve have also been enhanced over the last year with the help of Washington Trails Association (WTA). They decommissioned some poorly placed trails and constructed connector trails, resulting in a system that includes two loops that give hikers opportunities for bird watching over two beaver ponds.
Darlin Creek Preserve is now open to the public for hiking and wildlife viewing, daily from dawn to dusk. To learn more about visiting CLT’s preserves, please visit: https://capitollandtrust.org/conserved-lands/visit-a-preserve/.