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Conserving wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations.

Cumberland Creek Property

Property Description

"Cumberland Creek" is a video created by Elisabetta Bastai as part of her degree through Skagit Valley College. Elisabetta collaborated with the property steward Jim Johnson, the poet, executive director and co-founder of North Cascades Institute Saul Weisberg, and the renowned Native American flutist Peter Ali to highlight the cultural and ecological importance of Cumberland Creek Conservation Area.

History of Cumberland Creek Conservation Area

The Trust purchased this floodplain forest with financial assistance from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. Skagit Land Trust purchased 25 acres in December 2005, followed by the addition of 143 acres in March 2006, 27 acres in November 2006, and an additional 15 acres in three separate transactions over the past few years, including five acres of beautiful riparian forest in 2013.

Cumberland Creek preserves an oxbow lake, evidence for changes in the river shape over time.

Above: Cumberland Creek Conservation Area preserves a remnant river channel called an "oxbow lake" which provides evidence for how the river changed its flow throughout the floodplain over time. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

This property is an excellent example of how rich in diversity the deciduous forests of the Skagit River floodplain can be. Cottonwoods, alders and big-leaf maples line the Skagit River and provide nutrients to the water, as well as homes for many species of birds and amphibians. Cumberland Creek also provides very important salmon habitat.

Cumberland Creek Conservation Area preserves riparian habitat along the Skagit River and tributary streams. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Above: Cumberland Creek Conservation Area protects riparian habitat along the Skagit River and tributaries, including habitat for salmon species. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Restoration and Stewardship

EarthCorps crew works on a restoration project during February of 2018. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Above and below: Students from Emerson High School participate in restoration work at Cumberland Creek during February of 2018. Volunteers help the Skagit Land Trust maintain many diverse properties. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

In October 2014, a project was completed to restore more than 4,000 feet of salmon habitat by diverting Cumberland Creek into its historic channel in a joint effort by the Skagit Land Trust, the Army Corps of Engineers, Skagit River System Cooperative (SRSC), Skagit County, and Seattle City Light. The creek had been in its current channel for about 80 years because of the South Skagit Highway. Skagit Land Trust Board Members, volunteers and staff had been advocating for the restoration of Cumberland Creek for several years and are very pleased to see the project’s completion. 

In February 2018, the Skagit Land Trust partnered with an EarthCorps Conservation Crew to continue restoration work at our Cumberland Creek Conservation Area. Located in Seattle, the EarthCorps program focuses on developing leadership skills and ecological restoration knowledge in young adults from the United States and abroad. EarthCorps started working with Skagit Land Trust on restoration projects at Cumberland Creek in 2015. Since then they have helped remove acres of non-native invasive species throughout the property, including blackberry, butterfly bush, scotch broom, knotweed, clematis, and reed canary grass.

Cumberland Creek requires active restoration in some areas, especially around the wetland areas and shoreline. The February 2018 EarthCorps Conservation crew planted 2,700 native plants and shrubs near the oxbow pond on the property. Trust volunteers installed another 750 plants throughout the property during the winter and spring.

Students from Emerson High school participate in restoration project at Cumberland Creek

The work of managing such a large property is only possible with the help of many volunteers. Pictured above: Students from Emerson High School were able to join the Trust and EarthCorps team during a Conservation Classroom fieldtrip. They assisted with planting while learning about career opportunities in the conservation field. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Click here to view information about the land stewards for this and other Skagit Land Trust properties.

Walk the trails through the Cumberland Creek Conservation Area to see the incredible progress we’ve been able to make with member, partner, and volunteer support!

Wide trails of the Cumberland Creek Conservation Area follow former logging roads. Visit the property to see the restoration work completed by volunteers throughout the seasons. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Above: Wide trails of the Cumberland Creek Conservation Area follow former logging roads. Visit the property to see the restoration work completed by volunteers throughout the seasons. Photograph credit: Skagit Land Trust staff.

Access

We encourage you to visit this property! You can tour Cumberland Creek Conservation Area using our interpretive trail, created by the 2009-2010 Emerson High School Environmental Science class. As part of their curriculum, Emerson students studied the natural history of Cumberland Creek, wrote and designed an educational brochure. As you walk the trails, you'll find numbered posts corresponding to the brochure's information.

Hike the interpretive trails, bird along the shores and in the forest. There are several wood duck boxes along the oxbow pond.

Click here for a Google Map link to Cumberland Creek Conservation Area

Aerial Map of Cumberland Creek generated by Skagit Land Trust staff.

Click on the map above for a larger image. Map created using 2017 NAIP aerial imagergy.

How to Get There

From the South Skagit Hwy Park & Ride in Sedro-Woolley off of Route 9, take the S. Skagit Hwy 12 miles east.  Follow directions for address 34183 or using the Google map link above. Look for parking area in front of locked gate on the left side of the road. Boardwalk and Skagit Land Trust signs are just beyond gate.  Park in front of the gate and walk in. A good place to meet for carpooling is the Park and Ride area at the west entrance to South Skagit Highway on Highway 9.

Property Info

  • Type: Trust-Owned
  • Location: Cumberland Creek
  • Acreage: 211 acres
  • Date Added: 2005, 2006 and 2014
  • Please visit this property!

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