In a clearing enclosed by alder, cedar, and sword ferns, at the end of an wheelchair-accessible trail, a new, beautiful, and sustainable timber-frame pavilion greets visitors to the …
In a clearing enclosed by alder, cedar, and sword ferns, at the end of an wheelchair-accessible trail, a new, beautiful, and sustainable timber-frame pavilion greets visitors to the Valley View Forest.
The structure was built with 15 Douglas fir logs set aside during the Jefferson Land Trust selective harvest at the forest in 2021.
Located less than two miles south of Chimacum Corner, this 65-acre working forest is part of the organization’s first project. Their goal is to not only retain regional forest lands in perpetuity, but to manage them for a balance of sustainable timber production, wildlife habitat, recreation, and educational uses.
According to Preserve Manager Carrie Clendaniel, the healthiest, most robust trees are allowed to continue growing in the forest. The largest, or those with strategic snags or branches hospitable to wildlife, are tagged as permanent wildlife habitat trees.
Trees under a certain size are assessed and marked for harvesting. A healthy mix of species and spacing between trees is also sought to facilitate strong growth of an understory, including the next generation of tree seedlings.
When the timber harvest occurred, Jefferson Land Trust offered a tree free of charge to 16 local nonprofits. The Peninsula Trails Coalition, for example, plans to use whole logs to construct a public-use pavilion at Snow Creek Estuary Preserve, a property that sits alongside the future route of the Olympic Discovery Trail.
The Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe harvested cedar bark, traditionally used to make tools, baskets, hats, and regalia.
The timber-frame pavilion that visitors see upon entry to the forest is another public benefit.
“I chose timber-frame custom design for the pavilion because I wanted the building to demonstrate, through the joinery, the strength of the wood — and the power of that wood coming from this forest,” says local designer-builder Cody Wayland from Wayland Constructive. Wayland led the project with help from a group of skilled volunteer woodworkers.
With plenty of open space between the beams and a large skylight letting in lots of natural light, the structure welcomes school and community groups, families, and visitors to rest, reflect, and observe the beauty of the Peninsula.