Guided Walk Offered on Future Sand Lake Park Land

September 10, 2015 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Clay Myers State Natural Area on Whalen Island, OR

Planning is underway for the future state park to be located on the former “Beltz Farm” property on the Sand Lake Spit. You’ll find an article about this elsewhere on this page.

To learn more about the area’s natural history, you can join a guided walk sponsored by the North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC), Thursday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m.-noon. The walk, led by NCLC Executive Director Katie Voelke, takes place at the Clay Myers State Natural Area on Whalen Island, in the Sand Lake estuary just across a tidal channel from the spit. (A decade or so ago, Oregon Shores advocated vigorously for the purchase of Whalen Island from private owners to forestall any development there, and the purchase and subsequent development of this park, managed for its natural habitat, was one of our great moments.)

Located between Cape Kiwanda and Cape Lookout, Sand Lake is one of Oregon’s best-conserved estuaries thanks to the efforts by the State of Oregon (it is one of five estuaries zoned “natural” through our land use planning system) and private land trusts including NCLC, which owns and manages 215 acres in the northeast corner of the estuary. The walk affords an opportunity to learn about the ecology at this bar-built estuary—one of only four on the Oregon Coast—and experience for yourself this unique and particularly undeveloped estuary. Voelke is a former field biologist who worked for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife before joining NCLC as its first stewardship director in 2005; three years later she took the helm as executive director. 

The loop walk will follow a rolling trail for 1.5 miles. The path is well maintained. Bring water and snacks, wear sturdy walking shoes and dress for the day’s weather. Binoculars for bird and wildlife spotting are encouraged.

The walk is free, but registration is required because places are limited. Contact the North Coast Land Conservancy, (503) 738-9126, [email protected].