At a Glance
An ecological assessment helps a nonprofit dedicated to resilient and equitable farming plan for conservation, restoration, and regenerative food production.
Located on Bainbridge Island, Washington, Friends of the Farms is a nonprofit organization with a mission to ensure the future of local farming and build a healthier community through a resilient and equitable food ecosystem. When the organization sought to create a food forest, outdoor event space, and pollinator habitat on a 13-acre property in the headwaters of Manzanita Creek, they turned to Biohabitats for help. Once a Christmas tree farm, the property had been unused for many years, and invasive species had moved into its open spaces.
To inform Friends of the Farm's plans for the property, Biohabitats conducted a rapid ecological assessment. Using a combination of desktop and field data collection and analysis, Biohabitats mapped and analyzed information related to the site's topography, geology, hydrology, soil conditions, flora, and fauna. The site visits used a modified Forest Landscape Assessment Tool (FLAT) to efficiently systematize the criteria and represent distinct management units. Biohabitats also examined the history of land use on the site, including its significance as aboriginal territory of the Suquamish people.
The assessment yielded information that will help the planning team refine the overall vision, create specific goals and objectives for management units, and identify suitable conservation, restoration, and regenerative food production strategies.