Land Trust Announces Latest Farmland Conservation Effort


Historic Ward Farm – Photo Lindsey Aspelund

December 10th, 2015 – December brings forth cold crisp days, with farm fields put to rest to build energy for next season’s harvest. For many who maintain the local farmland base, the coming of winter represents a brief period to slow down, take stock, and begin prep for the New Year.  But, one local non-profit working to maintain conserved farmland on the North Olympic Peninsula shows no sign of slowing on their efforts.  North Olympic Land Trust has worked with a growing base of landowners to conserve new farmland and they are excited to announce their latest farmland conservation endeavor.

“We are committed to preserving farmland to maintain the cultural heritage of the Sequim Dungeness Valley and as such we are excited to announce our latest effort to secure the funds needed to conserve the Historic Ward Farm North of Sequim”, states North Olympic Land Trust Executive Director Tom Sanford.

During its last legislative session, the State of Washington pledged $344,000 toward the permanent conservation of the Historic Ward Farm, 60 acres of rich farmland located near the Dungeness River at the corner of Woodcock and Ward Roads. The Ward Farm has been in agriculture since 1858 when it was first acquired by the Ward Family.  The farm was then bought by Don Wheeler in 1957 and has remained in the Wheeler Family ever since.  The land is currently used to grow organic row crops.
“While we have a number of farmland projects in the pipeline, this pledge was just the investment needed to focus our efforts and get the ball rolling. Building on the momentum provided by the State, in the coming year we will reach out to additional donors and secure available grants to ultimately conserve this property and keep local farmland available”, states Sanford.

“The Historic Ward Farm provides prime farmland for our community and exemplifies land that defines this place.  Our community has a strong history of successfully rallying to make farmland remain available for food production for generations to come”, continues Sanford.