The Campaign to Save Mount Grant
A Pacific Northwest Gem on San Juan Island
We talked a bit about Mount Grant in a previous story of ours, Visiting San Juan Island. It is just one of the many attractions to see and experience on this magical islet. We're going to go a little more in-depth with this article, specifically about Mount Grant, the San Juan Preservation Trust, and the campaign to save the Mount Grant Preserve.
The Start to a New Preserve
Mount Grant consists of 141 acres of land which was once on the market for sale as a 12-lot subdivision for a private housing development at a combined sale price of $4.135 million. Luckily there were no takers. Located on San Juan Island, the area includes a diverse forest, multiple species listed among Washington State's priorities for protection, magnificent 360 degree views from the top, and much more. It also provides the most elevation gain for hiking of any other place on the island. With all of that, it's understandable why the nearby town of Friday Harbor wants to turn it into a preserve.
Unfortunately, for Friday Harbor, they do not have enough funds to purchase the land themselves. This is where the San Juan Preserve Trust (SJPT) comes in. They certainly came in strong by making a huge initial step. They successfully negotiated the sale price from $4.135 million down to $3.0 million. The SJPT is a nationally accredited private, non-profit and membership-based land trust. Founded in 1979 to conserve land in Washington State's San Juan Islands, the trust has so far protected 280 properties, 40 miles of shoreline, 15,000 acres, and more. Their mission is simple...
"...to preserve and protect open spaces, scenic views, forests, agricultural lands, habitats, watersheds, riparian corridors, wetlands and shorelines in the San Juan Archipelago."
—Mission of the San Juan Preservation Trust
The conservation's vision for Mount Grant includes many detailed plans that will help visitors reach and explore the area. Some of such opportunities are hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. A key plan is that the land will be fully compatible for visitors with mobility restrictions. Maintaining the current road to the top for public access to all will help those who are unable to hike. Everyone will be able to access the amazing panoramic views and everything else that comes with the magnificent preserve.
What You Can Do to Help
Here are a few ways to help make this a preserve for future generations to come...
- Donate: You can make a one-time donation, or a recurring monthly donation, in any amount, to the campaign by clicking here. Your donation will be matched by a generous matching grant!
- Volunteer: You can volunteer for the San Juan Preservation Trust and help them achieve their mission. You can find the various opportunities of volunteering by clicking here. By you helping SJPT as a whole, SJPT is then able to continue the campaign to save Mount Grant.
- Visit & Spread the Word: We encourage everyone to visit this place at least once in order to fully understand its beauty and potential of transforming it into a preserve. After taking it all in, consider sharing the story of your visit, the nature photos you took, and the campaign itself with your friends on social media. The more attention there is, the quicker the donations will add up!
Visiting Mount Grant
We recently received a wonderful comment on our previous story from Keith Wentworth, Co-chair, SJPT Campaign for Mount Grant Preserve. He left us some helpful information about upcoming visitor opportunities that we want to pass along. The road to the top is not open for public vehicle use during most of the year, which means you'll have to hike to the top when it is closed. However, below are the dates when the road is open this year.
- Father's Day, Noon to 6:00 PM
- Every Sunday, July through September
- Sunday, July 31st, 2016 - Special Community Festival Event: Free shuttles will be provided from Friday Harbor to the top of Mount Grant so that those who walk on the ferry at Anacortes will be able to get to the ridge top.
We hope you visit Mount Grant next time you're on San Juan Island! For more information please take a look at the Campaign to Save Mount Grant website. Let us know in the comments below if you've been to Mount Grant or if you plan on going.
Follow along on our wanderings around the Pacific Northwest.
The only thing better would be being there yourself!
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