The Aiston Preserve

The property is not open to the public at this time while we work to address safety and liability issues. At the current time you can experience this amazing property by signing up for a guided tour or volunteering for a work party (check out our Stewardship page for dates). Please respect the limited access and know that we are working hard to create the Aiston Preserve.

Located on the southeast flank of Lummi Mountain, the property contains 105 acres of deep mossy forests and 4,000 feet of shoreline, with pocket beaches, eelgrass beds and Smugglers Cove. In recent years, a portion of the property was used as a rock quarry.

Photo by Ed Lowe

Photo by Ed Lowe

Photo by Ed Lowe

Photo by Ed Lowe

The feasibility studies and design drawings are now complete. Geologists, biologists and engineers have helped us understand the complexities, challenges and opportunities for restoring this land. We will re-grade the mine floor and benches, then spread topsoil and woody material for planting native trees and shrubs; manage stormwater using vegetated berms and a holding pond; remove mining debris; decommission old mine roads and build trails; and stabilize dangerous slopes. Our design includes an area suitable for a helicopter landing zone and an area where a landing craft could access the shoreline for emergency transport.

Enhancing the beaches and planting native vegetation along the shoreline will create habitat for forage fish and other marine species. The derelict docks and pilings will be removed and the pocket beach will be expanded and enhanced. Mooring buoys will be placed and a no anchor zone will be established to protect the eelgrass and kelp beds in Smugglers Cove. The entire Aiston Preserve restoration project is designed with climate change in mind. Specifically, predicted increases in rain events and sea level rise have been integrated into the design.

The next step in our process is to complete permitting from multiple government agencies. We are ready to walk through the property with them, to highlight what changes can be made and identify challenges that may arise. Once we have received all of the proper permits we will move on to the construction phase of this project. Stay tuned for more updates!

Photo by Ed Lowe

Photo by Ed Lowe