txʷaalqəł Conservation Area
The City of Gig Harbor acquired nearly 40.5 acres of forested land for conservation in 2022 in three phases. This acreage will be set aside in perpetuity for conservation, permanently protecting approximately 1800 lineal feet of North Creek (aka Donkey Creek).
The only uses that will be allowed on these properties are trails, signs, and possibly a small parking area for hikers. Phases 1 and 2 are adjacent to the Cushman Trail, and future plans will provide for a connection between the Trail and Harborview Drive.
The properties on the west side of Harborview Drive have mature trees and native plants, with very few invasive plants. Phase 3 previously had a home, driveway, and outbuildings on it, so has fewer mature trees and more invasive vegetation that will need to be removed.
- Phase I
- Phase 1 is located just north of the City’s wastewater treatment plant, across Harborview from Donkey Creek Park. The City bought the 11.5-acre property for $500,000 from the Lyons Family in April of 2022. This property is important to the Puyallup Tribe, as it was part of the main village of the sxʷəbabč people. The Puyallup Tribe donated $50,000 to help with the purchase.
- Phase 2
- Phase 2 is located just north of Phase 1, and was purchased in October of 2022 from the Shaw, Warren, and Peschek families for $4.2 million. It contains six parcels totaling 23.87 acres. Part of this property will be named after Richard H. Shaw, the longtime owner of four of the Phase 2 properties.
- Phase 3
- Phase 3 doesn’t have North Creek running through it, but saving it from development will help the health of North Creek. Located across Harborview Drive from Phases 1 & 2, Phase 3 contains 5.15 acres that were once going to be developed into 18 homes. Phase 3 was purchased from the Haub Family for the discounted price of $1 million. The Gig Harbor Land Conservation Fund raised and donated $50,000 toward the purchase.
Natural resources and open space are important to the City and a vital component to the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan. The natural environment provides habitat and refuge for fish and wildlife, enhances water, air and soil quality, and provides area for recreation, reflection and relaxation.
The City currently owns 40 acres of natural parkland, which offer natural outdoor experiences and enjoyment:
- Wilkinson Farm Park
- Adam Tallman Park
- Grandview Forest Park
- Austin Estuary Park
- Donkey Creek Park
In addition to these natural parks, the City owns over 80 acres of open space and undeveloped land. This acreage provides habitat for flora and fauna and boasts a beautiful, natural landscape for residents to enjoy.
In addition to owning natural and open space properties, the City participates with the following environmental agencies/groups in order to maintain and restore critical habitat:
PugetSound Partnership West Central Local Integrating Organization
KeyPeninsula-Gig Harbor-Island Watershed Council (KGI Watershed Council)