Wetherill Nature Preserve
Last update:  November 12, 2014


The Town of Hunts Point shares a true gem with the Town of Yarrow Point -- the Wetherill Nature Preserve.

What surprises new visitors about the Preserve are its overall size (16 acres), the number of trails it encompasses, and the variety of birds and other animals who call its undeveloped acreage home.  Trail walkers are treated to water front vistas with views of Cozy Cove that sparkle in the sun mixed with the forest of native trees and plants.  While surprises abound within the Preserve at any time of year, bird life prevails, particularly in the springtime.  A kingfisher chatters from the water's edge; an eagle perches in a tree or lands on a lily pad dipping its wings for a bath.  Sparrows and chickadees flit above the trees in continuous song.  The quiet observer may find a mother robin sitting on her nest in low shrubs and trees behind a cozy screen of leaves.

The preserve was created on July 4, 1988 when sisters Marjorie Baird and Sidonia Foley bequeathed sixteen acres of prime property to the towns with the requirement that the towns protect the land in perpetuity from development and preserve the native wildlife and plants existing on it.  The land originally belonged to the sisters' grandfather, Seattle financier Jacob Furth, in addition to property on which the Furth family and subsequent generations lived.  The sisters dedicated the Preserve in memory of the mother, Sidonia Furth Wetherill, and their father, Army Colonel Alexander Wetherill.  Their decision to protect fields and forests from being turned into concrete and housing tracts and to preserve the wildlife remains an incredible, unprecedented commitment of individuals to the environment.  A sign at the entrance announces that the Wetherill Nature Preserve is a “natural place, a habitat” area. True to that concept, any designs for it have remained simple, primarily giving the public access rather than creating a landscaped garden.

Marjorie Baird died on October 30, 2004 at the age of 92.  Her sister, Sidonia Foley, died on January 28, 2005.  One of Marjorie's daughters, Sidonia Wetherill St. Germaine, served as a Commissioner for on the Wetherill Nature Preserve Board for many years, continuing the legacy of conservancy established by her forebears.

The Wetherill Nature Preserve Board oversees the maintenance and protection of the Preserve and the collection of donations to fund these efforts.  Current members of the Commission are:

Bruce Jones, Yarrow Point Chair
Virginia Park, Hunts Point Commissioner and Treasurer
Marian Bergey, Yarrow Point Commissioner and Corresponding Secretary
John Lewison, Hunts Point Commissioner
Mike O'Byrne, Hunts Point Commissioner
David Bergey, Yarrow Point Commissioner
Mary Anne Keyser, Seattle Commissioner at Large

The main entrance to the Wetherill Nature Preserve is located about halfway between Hunts Point and Yarrow Point along the Points Loop Trail. This section of the Loop trail runs parallel to the SR 520 between Hunts Point and Yarrow Point. There is also an east entrance on the Points Loop Trail. There is some parking available at Hunts Point Town Hall. In Yarrow Point, park on the street along 92nd Ave NE.

The trails are for pedestrians only and offer no beach access. The Preserve is a sensitive area to be enjoyed in its natural and protected state.  It is open all year during the daylight hours.

Visit their website at: http://www.wetherillnp.org


 
WETHERILL NATURE PRESERVE
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
 
Do you love our nature preserve? Do you want to help keep it as beautiful as it is now and even make it better? The Wetherill Board of Commissioners is forming a volunteer task force - Friends of Wetherill to do just that. The Friends will work on a variety of projects including maintenance of existing trails, building new trails, control of non native plants, planting new plants, and installation and maintenance of benches and signs. It is expected that the team will meet regularly to maintain this magnificent community resource. The first meeting is planned soon.
 
Commissioner David Bergey will be heading up this effort. Come join him to help preserve and enhance this wonderful part of our community. Interested?
Please contact David at:
 
DMBergey@msn.com or 425-646-9037