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.

Project Details

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.

In 2023, two big changes came for the preserve: both active stewardship and nearly 40 acres added. In early 2023, GPC implemented conservation practices in Grovers Creek Preserve’s forestlands along Miller Bay Road and is assessing bird responses to these practices with support from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative. After a successful community supported campaign, GPC acquired an additional 38.5 acres of adjacent high quality habitat to the existing preserve. Thanks to community support Grovers Creek is not only protected but continues to grow and improve!

Project Partners

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Estate of Virginia Cowling
Friends of Miller Bay
Grovers Creek Campaign Donors
Helton Family
Home Builders Association of Kitsap County
Kawahara Family
Kitsap Audubon Society
Kitsap County
Kitsap Forest and Bay Coalition
North Kitsap Green Link
North Kitsap Trails Association
Pope Resources
Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
Port Madison Enterprises
Seattle Audubon Society
Still Hope Productions
Suquamish Tribe
Washington Salmon Recovery and Conservation Funding Board
Washington State Conservation and Recreation Office

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