Grovers Creek Preserve
Under the forest canopy of Grovers Creek Preserve are streams and wetland pools releasing a year-round flow of clean cold water, making this a critical habitat for threatened steelhead and a priority conservation project for GPC.
A rare grove of 200-year-old Sitka spruce, hemlock, cedar, and fir supports a wide array of wildlife. You’ll see evidence of black bears and over 60 species of birds. A peat bog gives a spring to your step as you skirt its pools. Crossing Grovers Creek on a fallen log you’ll marvel at a beaver dam.
Great Peninsula Conservancy is conserving this rare grove of old trees and nurturing younger trees within the preserve so that they too will reach the majesty of old growth. as it ages into an old growth forest. The preserve creates a forested corridor for wildlife habitat and future trails. By protecting these freshwater wetlands we’re ensuring a year round flow of clean water into Miller Bay and Puget Sound.
Grovers Creek Preserve abuts Kitsap County’s North Kitsap Heritage Park, and is at the center of a forest corridor spanning nearly 1,700 acres in northern Kitsap Peninsula. It will be a critical link in the future Sound to Olympics Trail, which aims to create a continuous regional trail across Kitsap County connecting the trails of the Mountains to Sound Greenway to the Olympic Discovery Trail. Protected for all time, Grovers Creek Preserve will provide a place for families to explore these natural wonders on foot and bicycle.
A special part of this preserve was set aside as a core wildlife-only area. Kitsap and Seattle Audubon Societies generously supported the project to protect the grove of old Sitka spruce in the hopes that marbled murrelets––a small seabird that lays its single egg high up in old growth conifers––will one day nest in this old growth forest.
This land acquisition was part of the wider Kitsap Forest and Bay Project––a collaborative effort to preserve 4,000 acres of forestland spanning the peninsula from Kingston northwest to Port Gamble, Together these conserved lands will safeguard diverse forest, riparian and wetland habitats, and abundant wildlife. Much of Grovers Creek Preserve was previously owned by Pope Resources. Other portions of the preserve were owned by the Helton and Kawahara families, who generously donated or sold their land to Great Peninsula Conservancy to protect in perpetuity.
March 2023 Update
In the latter half of March 2023, GPC will implement conservation practices in Grovers Creek Preserve’s forestlands along Miller Bay Road. With the intent of improving forest species composition and increasing structural diversity, we will selectively thin and open gaps in the otherwise, contiguous, overstocked, forest canopy. Some logs will be removed and sold to help cover costs of the work. Within the well-marked perimeters of eight units, our forester and logger will use light-, and low-impact, methods to move these stands toward healthy, climate-resilient, late-seral conditions. GPC is also assessing bird responses to these practices with support from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative. Stay tuned for our results.
Estate of Virginia Cowling
Friends of Miller Bay
Grovers Creek Campaign Donors
Home Builders Association of Kitsap County
Kitsap Audubon Society
Kitsap Forest and Bay Coalition
North Kitsap Green Link
North Kitsap Trails Association
Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
Port Madison Enterprises
Seattle Audubon Society
Still Hope Productions
Washington Salmon Recovery and Conservation Funding Board
Washington State Conservation and Recreation Office