It was the culmination of a lot of hard work. Last Saturday, the ribbon was officially cut at the new Hansville Greenway Expansion, marking the ceremonial opening of this land to the public. Close to 100 community members from Hansville and all across the peninsula showed up to celebrate this happy moment, and the incredible effort that the people of Hansville put into making it happen.
It wasn’t too long ago that this property was slated to be developed into a stretch of new homes. The forest there, which had once been informally connected to the Greenway, had been harvested over ten years ago now. Disney & Associates, the landowner, were considering options about what to do with the property.
But when the people of Hansville heard about the possibility of new ownership, they got together and decided to protect this land. This decision will impact the community of Hansville for generations, providing an open, green community space that anyone can enjoy. Now the land is owned and protected by Great Peninsula Conservancy, and it expands the Greenway by 100 acres.
That’s why the attendees at the recent ribbon cutting event were so happy. They worked hard to protect this land, raising the 2.15 million dollars needed to purchase the land and fund a stewardship trust devoted to its restoration.
Michael Szerlog spoke about the history of the Greenway, and the volunteer network of over 100 people that have cared for it over the years. Darcy Herrett discussed her vision and her reasons for helping to lead the fundraising campaign.
The “ribbon” was a carefully woven strand of willow branches, set with flowers and leaves. With a cut from a pair of loppers, Darcy and BryAnn Bingham, another lead volunteer, officially opened the expansion!
At the Olympic Mountain Viewpoint, the discussion turned to the land’s future. These 100 acres have a huge potential for restoration, and GPC Executive Director Nathan Daniel promised to devote the time and care that it will take to make that land a forest once again. Right now, the stewardship team is partnering with the volunteers at the Hansville Greenway Association to develop a management plan that will guide the coming years of restoration.
The bald eagles that graced the end of the ribbon cutting were a reminder of nature’s resilience. Like the eagles’ rebounding populations, soon the Hansville Greenway Expansion will once again be a diverse and healthy forest, in which the public can find peace.