Preserve Old Growth

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Mountaineers Foundation Rhododendron Preserve

An Ecological Jewel

The Mountaineers Foundation Rhododendron Preserve inspires people and protects a rare patch of our region’s natural history.

As development increases, these islands of nature will become increasingly important both to the abundant wildlife that inhabit the Preserve and adjoining forest lands and to generations of people with fewer opportunities to experience such a place, especially one so close to home.

The Preserve has a long history. People have been protecting this land since The Mountaineers purchased a 74 acre parcel in 1915. The property grew over time until 180 acres was deeded to Mountaineers Foundation in 1985 to be held in perpetuity as a nature conservancy.

Much of the Preserve has never been clearcut, and about 70 acres of old growth forest lies at its heart. Ancient western red cedar and the spectacular Big Tree, a Douglas fir tree over 30 feet around, remind us what the Puget lowland looked like centuries ago. Salmon and other wildlife abound.

This incredible ecological treasure in the heart of Kitsap County is a natural classroom and laboratory in our Second Century both education programs and scientific research will grow and increase.

Stewardship • Preservation • Restoration

Help us Grow and Maintain the Rhododendron Preserve

Looking Forward: Our Second Century

We need your help to grow, preserve and operate the Rhododendron Preserve into its Second Century and beyond.

Our Second Century Capital Campaign plans to raise $500,000. This money enabled Mountaineers Foundation to purchase three parcels along Chico Creek adding 70 acres to the Rhododendron Preserve and protecting more of the Chico Creek watershed. The fund will enable Mountaineers Foundation to continue to manage and be good stewards of the Rhododendron Preserve.

By the end of the second century, we see:

  • Growing the Preserve’s borders by collaborating with our neighbors
  • Scores of school children discovering the remarkable salmon runs and healthy streams
  • Opportunities for kids and adults alike to find solace amidst the bird calls and mosses, inspiring artistic endeavors or simply drawing in a deep breath

Above all else, the Mountaineers Foundation sees a healthy community of people, wildlife, and plants thriving at the Mountaineers Foundation Rhododendron Preserve.

With your involvement and support the Rhododendron Preserve will continue protecting the health of the largest chum salmon run in the south Puget Sound, a run that helps to feed the endangered Puget Sound orcas. The Preserve also contains an endangered Coho salmon run. Your support will expand protection for Coho spawning streams.

Your support for the Rhododendron Preserve protects habitat for wildlife. We can’t do it without you.