"Let them breathe the air, hear the sounds and see the huge expansive beach for the first time," -- Dave Allen
As he watches children spread out across the forest and beach at Foulweather Bluff, at the tip of the Kitsap peninsula, Dave Allen knows that they are absorbing the joys and lessons of the natural world like sponges.
“Let them breathe the air, hear the sounds and see the huge expansive beach for the first time,” he said. “Let them run out there and act instinctively. All their learning windows are open!”
Allen grew up spending summers at Foulweather Bluff. He and his brothers explored the forests and beaches of the area by foot, bike and boat.
Now Foulweather Bluff is a nature preserve, one of the first Conservancy preserves in Washington. And Dave Allen is still exploring this special place. He is chair of the Foulweather Bluff Preserve Committee, and works with the local school district to ensure that all the children growing up in the region get to experience that wild beach.
It was a neighbor of Allen’s family, Errol Rawson, who first had the idea to preserve Foulweather Bluff. Errol’s son Ron remembers that his father wanted to see his land preserved in a natural state, and rallied his neighbors to cooperate.
Dr. Rawson walked up and down Twin Spits Road signing up families to donate their land to the Conservancy. Three other property owners joined in, including Dave Allen’s family, and they wound up donating the land along nearly a mile of Twin Spits Road.
The Foulweather Bluff Preserve was established in 1967, when the Rawson family donated the land to the Conservancy and established a trust fund for the long-term management of the preserve. Today the preserve includes more than 100 acres and 3,800 feet of beachfront.
The Foulweather Bluff Preserve is more than 100 acres of woodland, marsh and beach. Myriad species call this place home, including otters, sand dollars, kingfishers, ducks, osprey and eagles. You can learn more about this rich natural history on our Foulweather Bluff Preserve page.
Nature Conservancy volunteers have been caring for this preserve for decades. They have served as docents, welcoming visitors and answering questions. They have cleaned up trash. And they have removed many invasive, non-native plants – such as ivy and holly – from the woods and the marsh edge before they got out of control.
The Foulweather Bluff Preserve stands as a testament to the vision of Dr. Rawson, the Allen family and many other committed volunteers and landowners who have ensured wildlife a continuing home at Foulweather Bluff.February 13, 2011