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Eglon family buys land for preservation

ELGON — A local resident, lawyer, substitute teacher and aware environmentalist has helped preserve a portion of North Kitsap forever.

Keith Beebe and his wife, Michelle, recently purchased 15 acres of land in the Kingston-Eglon neighborhood that include beaver dams, wetland areas and a section of Silver Creek and have donated it to the Great Peninsula Conservancy.

“It’s smack dab where all this cool beaver property is,” Keith said about the land.

Last December, the Beebes heard the property was up for sale and checked with the GPC to see if it was okay if the couple purchased it. GPC gave their blessing and the Beebes went forward with their proposal. Within 10 days, it was under the protective arms of the non-profit land trust organization.

“Michelle and I like to support, and always support, the environmental community,” Keith said, adding that the parcel edges the proposed property for a much-talked about greenway trail between Kingston and Eglon.

Six years ago, Keith tried to work with the Department of Natural Resources to convert the adjacent property into a greenways trail, but it didn’t work out, he said.

Since then, members of the Kingston Trails, Parks and Open Space Committee took up the project’s reins again. Keith said he not only hopes it will follow through but will also acquire more land surrounding the trail for preservation as well.

“(The Beebe’s donation) really is kind of an example of how we work as a land trust,” said GPC Executive Director Don Duprey, noting that most of the 1,200 acres the group owns on the Kitsap Peninsula, as well as land in Mason and Pierce counties, have been acquired by donations such as the Beebe’s.

“It’s a rare instance when we can purchase the property outright,” Duprey said. “It’s not the size but the quality of the place.”

The land has high-environmental value, Duprey said, because it is a healthy riparian habitat for the salmon with the stream that runs through it.

“Michelle and I (try) to be community- minded up here and it’s just one more way we can contribute or help,” Keith said.

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