PORT TOWNSEND — Seconds after entering the Quimper Wildlife Corridor, the world goes green. The song of a Swainson’s thrush ripples across the treetops and the path beckons the walker into the woods.
Yes, it’s muddy. And the air, in this final week of winter, can feel chilly.
So the Jefferson Land Trust, caretaker of this refuge in Port Townsend, is inviting people to an indoor tour to start the day: “Wildlife, Wetlands and We the People: Celebrating the Quimper Wildlife Corridor,” the annual conservation breakfast on Thursday.
The event is online this year and free to the public, with reservations at www.saveland.org/breakfast. More information can be found by phoning the land trust office, 360-379-9501.
The Zoom room will open at 8:45 a.m. for the presentation, which will be from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
“We’ll look at some of the natural wonders” of the corridor, breakfast host Nan Evans said earlier this week while she walked the corridor’s trail from the intersection of 35th and Howard streets.
On Thursday, she’ll guide viewers through visits with speakers including the Rev. Kate Lore of the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, citizen scientist Wendy Feltham, zoologist Geoff Hammerson and Port Townsend High School student and naturalist Chloe Lampert.
Also joining the conversation: Brent Butler, a land trust board member and the program manager of Age Friendly Seattle, and Dr. Molly Parker of Jefferson Healthcare, whose interests include the health of the community as a whole.
The breakfast is about a relationship: between the natural environment and the wellness of communities and people.
And Evans, host of “Nature Now” on KPTZ-FM and the Jefferson Land Trust board vice president, emphasized this will be a fun morning get-together.
The Quimper Wildlife Corridor, a 3.5-mile swath of forestland capping Port Townsend — stretching from Fort Worden State Park west to North Jacob Miller Road — is threaded with walking trails.
Those are fringed with ferns and, in spring and summer, trillium, salmonberry, thimbleberry and red-flowering currant.
Evergreens tower over it all, providing living space for some 200 bird species, amphibians and mammals, according to the land trust’s website, saveland.org.
A map and field guide are found on that website under Protected Properties and Quimper Wildlife Corridor.
“This was our first project,” said Richard Tucker, executive director of the land trust.
The first person the organization hired was Sarah Spaeth, who has for the past 25 years managed the wildlife corridor, its funding and its expansion.
“We’re doing another push for additional properties to protect the corridor,” Tucker said, adding these wood- and wetlands are like a jigsaw puzzle of parcels.
The land trust’s hope is to fit them all together into a community green space that will always be there, whatever changes happen in Port Townsend.
“I love our community, and I love the supporters who come to these things,” Tucker said.
Thursday’s conservation breakfast “will be a great morning of learning about a part of this community that some know quite well, and that some didn’t know was there.”
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]