Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust

The Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust was founded in 1989 by a dedicated group of islanders who were concerned about preserving Vashon and Maury. Since that time, it has been instrumental in the acquisition and permanent preservation of over a thousand acres of carefully chosen property on Vashon and Maury. An additional 3000+ acres, enrolled in King County's current use taxation program (the Public Benefit Rating System), are protected and being stewarded by private landowners.

The Land Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that relies on membership dues, contributions, fundraisers and occasional grants to carry on its work. The Land Trust has one full time and three part time staff people.

The mission of the Land Trust is to preserve natural ecosystems and the rural character of Vashon Maury Island. In a sense, that includes most of the island. But, in the reality of limited funding resources, the Land Trust has focused on the most critical habitat areas and unique ecosystems. The Land Trust was founded to organize the purchase of the Whispering Firs Bog near the Episcopal Church. It is a fragile and special place, unlike any other on the island. From that beginning, the Land Trust has continued to protect the island's major ponds, salmon-bearing streams, shoreline areas, and diverse forests. While maintaining undeveloped open space is an important goal, the highest marks in the Land Trust's ranking system are given for habitat areas that are unique on the island and help maintain biological diversity.

While buying a piece of land is the most glamorous activity of the Land Trust, there are other quieter ways in which we work to fulfill our mission. One of these is community education. Recognizing that we can never buy enough land to have a major impact, we have developed an active education program to teach islanders about their natural surroundings and to become good stewards of their own lands.

The Land Trust hosts classes on native plants, on birding, on salmon stream monitoring, on island geology and groundwater, and other ecological topics. The popular forest stewardship course, offered in alternating years, presents in-depth information on forest health and best practices, and guides participants though the creation of a forest stewardship plan. A forest plan is necessary in applying to the King County Public Benefit Rating System, the property tax incentive program available to landowners for preserving their own property. Currently, more than 3,000 island acres are enrolled in this current use taxation program.

Contact Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust

Tom Dean
Executive Director
10014 Bank Road SW
PO Box 2031
Vashon, Washington  98070-2031
Phone: (206)-463-2644
Fax: (206)-463-2624


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