Fall 2016 Friends of the Fields Campaign
A Place Worth Protecting
Recognizing both the community importance of farmland and the dramatic loss of these lands across Clallam County, this fall North Olympic Land Trust spearheaded a targeted effort to raise $125,000 for local farmland conservation.
In working toward this goal, the Land Trust embarked on a “Friends of the Fields” community campaign, which concluded on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.
We’re thrilled to share that we reached 103% of our goal, all thanks to the incredible support from individuals within the community, willing to invest in their land base.
This recent success is a big step in the right direction, but with hundreds of acres of unprotected farmland, the need is still there. You can continue to make a positive and forever impact on your community by supporting local land conservation.
*February 2017 Update: Conservation of the Historic Ward Farm is complete!
Clallam Farmland & Conservation
Encompassing the wild Dungeness River and outstretched prairies, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley in eastern Clallam County has some of the richest soils in the nation for agriculture. The unique microclimate with mild seasons coupled with an established irrigation system allows for a year-round growing season. For these reasons, as well as the area’s convenient proximity to metropolitan centers like Seattle, access to farmland has and remains critical to the communities in and around the Sequim-Dungeness Valley since the early 1800s.
However, farms of all size are threatened in Clallam County. Within the past 70 years more than 70 percent of the county’s farmland has been converted to other uses. Reflective of the fragmentation throughout the county, the average farm size is 44 acres instead of 70 acres in 1950.
Despite the challenges facing farmland in Clallam County, these lands continue to be a pivotal part of our community identity. Farmland is an economic driver, provides access to local food and open space – contributing to scenic beauty and wildlife habitat.
By working with willing landowners and the community, North Olympic Land Trust has been able to conserve more than 460 acres of working farmland. Some of these lands support farms, such as 24 Carrot Farm, Jane’s Farm, Finn Hall Farm, Dungeness Valley Creamery, Freedom Farm and Lazy J Tree Farm.
These examples of success aside, hundreds of acres of local farmland remain unprotected and full community support, at every level, is needed to forever preserve the areas agricultural land base.