Great Peninsula Conservancy

Why We're Here

Where We Work

. Phyllis Ellis Forest

. Homestead Park

. Indianola Waterfront and Woodland Preserve

. Banner Forest

. Klingel Refuge

. Johnson South Sound Preserve

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County Pierce
Date Acquired 1990
Acreage 168
Conservation Method Conservation Easement
Conservation Value


Open Space


Working Lands

Address Private

Where We Work - Helping Landowners


Phyllis Ellis Forest
(Private land)

Conservation easements are written to meet the needs of a landowner while preserving the land’s natural features. This tool is often sought to protect the future of the family farm, in peril of being lost due to rising costs and property values. The Conservancy holds a conservation easement on one such property – a tree farm.

When you make your way along the green, wooded stretch of Lombard Drive in Gig Harbor, you’re passing through the Ellis Forest. People often tell Kit Ellis, who now owns the acreage, how much they love this stretch of road, shrouded by trees on both sides as they drive. She gives the credit to her late mother, Phyllis, who believed the people have all the advantages and that animals get little consideration. Phyllis had shared her woods with wildlife since she bought the land in 1956, and it was her wish to conserve it as forest. Because of her foresight and the land protection agreement she made, the wild animals she loved will always have a home here, and the forest can continue to be enjoyed by anyone who passes through.

The Ellis land protection agreement established their forest as a stewardship forest, the first so designated in the state. “There is a small leftover glacial lake in the forest, with occasional otters, and still some fish. There’s lots of brushy salmonberry and gooseberry, so it’s a good corridor for wildlife to move up and down,” says Kit. “We wanted the agreement written in a way that would look after these things.” With the help of a land trust conservation specialist and a biologist with the stewardship forestry program, the agreement was written to include a comprehensive forest plan. It allows timber improvement and thinning activities that follow responsible stewardship practices, ensuring income for the owners and protecting the natural systems that support the wild species that make these woods their home.

Through the use of a conservation easement, the Ellis Forest has become a slice of Peninsula history forever preserved.


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