Historic Whidbey Island (WA) Farmland Preserved
Coupeville, WA – The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the National Park Service (NPS) announced today a land purchase that will protect over 400 acres of some of the most spectacular and historic farmland in the Pacific Northwest. The Engle Farm, which is located on Whidbey Island and offers stunning views over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains, is within the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.
“The history of Coupeville and Central Whidbey Island is rooted in agriculture. The working farms and open spaces that surround Coupeville are critical to maintaining our historic, small-town character, and they provide jobs for some of our residents,” noted Mayor Nancy Conard of Coupeville. She added, “the work of TPL and NPS to protect the Engle Farm is vitally important to our heritage, our economy and the legacy we leave for the future.”
The historic farm, which was first settled in the 1850s, has been continuously farmed for nearly 150 years. Its transfer to the National Park Service will permanently protect an important historical landscape and keep threatened farmland in agricultural production. Until it was protected, the Engle Farm was faced with a growing threat of subdivision and development due to financial problems.
“We owe much to local farm families, such as the Engles, who kept farming in the face of severe challenges,” noted Rob Harbour, Reserve Manager for the National Park Service. He added, “Without their decades of stewardship, we would have lost the opportunity to preserve this important part of Pacific Northwest history.”
The final land transfer is the result of over three years of work by the Trust for Public Land, National Park Service and many local officials. The land will be a valuable addition to Ebey’s Landing, and will preserve spectacular views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier.
Funding for the project, which is valued at nearly $3 million, was supported by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.