Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

350 Acres4+ miles of trail, mature forest, beaver pond, forest wetlands, Lake Whatcom watershed
Location: Lake Louise Road

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On October 11, 2003 three generations of Stimpsons gathered to help dedicate the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve, a timeless public treasure made possible by the Stimpson family. In the fall of 2000, seven Stimpson siblings donated 116 beautiful acres in the Lake Whatcom Watershed to Whatcom Land Trust. This act of generosity became the catalyst for a community partnership that created the Nature Reserve – a partnership of the Stimpson family, Whatcom Land Trust, Whatcom County, Western Washington University, and the State Department of Natural Resources.

WLT sold a watershed conservation easement and a recreational use easement over the donated 116 acres to Whatcom County. The Land Trust used the proceeds of that sale to add an adjoining 80 acres purchased from the Trillium Corporation and to set up a fund to develop and manage the property. Western Washington University donated two small but critically located parcels to the Land Trust– land that had been acquired through the diligent efforts of Professor Ron Taylor. In September 2002, the Department of Natural Resources signed an agreement making the 138-acre Lake Louise Natural Resource Conservation Area a part of the Stimpson Family Nature Reserve and turning over management of that now 350-acre property to Whatcom County Parks.

Master trail builder Russ Pfeiffer-Hoyt constructed a 4-mile loop trail that skirts a vibrant beaver pond and weaves through the mature forests, over sandstone ridges and beside assorted wetlands of the Reserve. When Russ builds a trail, it is not simply a way to get you from one place to another. It is an invitation to experience nature.  In planning this project, the Stimpsons, WLT and County Parks all agreed that this was not to be a park, but rather a Nature Reserve, a place to be quiet and experience the intricate grandeur of nature, a place for children to discover what nature is about.

WLT has used the Stimpson Reserve as an outdoor classroom for all ages.  Four miles of easy trails meander down into pocket wetlands, over creeks, up over low ridges and around ponds. A wide variety of native plants are viewable from the trail. Interpretative materials are available here or at the WLT office.

 

 


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