Pledges Could Protect Wildlife
The Hansville Greenway Association has six months to save 10 acres of scenic forest and wetlands adjacent to its trail system from possible development. All that’s needed is about $135,000 from generous donors and nature lovers.
The privately-owned parcel about a half-mile south of the Buck Lake Park includes portions of Lower and Upper Hawks’ Ponds, complete with active beavers and a vernal pool for frog and salamander breeding. Seven of the available acres are in a protected conservation easement, but three acres covered primarily with 50-year-old cedars are unprotected and open to logging and home construction.
Purchase of the parcel would provide an unobstructed wildlife corridor between the two sections of Hawks’ Ponds. Deer, bear, bobcats, cougars, beavers, otters, eagles and more visit the area.
The Greenway Association has kept watch for properties around the forested area with hopes to buffer the Greenway from development. The owners of the 10-acre parcel decided to sell and gave the Greenway Association first chance to buy at a reduced price through December 15. The total cost of $230,000 includes management of the fundraising and sale by the Great Peninsula Conservancy. Kitsap County will own the property and the Greenway Association will maintain it. To date, $95,000 has been raised through pledges. “The worst case, if we can’t raise the money, is losing an important wildlife corridor and habitat,” said Ken Shawcroft, a volunteer with the Greenway since its start in the 1990s. “That primary purpose of the Greenway is to serve as a nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary.”
Potential plans on the 10 acres include adding a trail linking it to the Greenway and two wildlife viewing platforms. To donate, visit https://greatpeninsula.org/property/hansville-greenway-hawks-ponds-