Caring For A Wonderful Destination

The north coast of Oregon isn’t the state’s best kept secret anymore. It’s well known far and wide what a magical place the Manzanita area is. Visitors are thrilled by the splendor it has to offer, whether it’s their first visit or they’ve been coming regularly for generations. But much of what makes this place so special is rooted in the healthy ecosystems, the vibrant waterways, and the dazzling wildlife that can be seen here.

The Lower Nehalem Community Trust (LNCT) was established in Manzanita in 2002 with a mission “to preserve land and nurture conservation values in partnership with an engaged community in the Nehalem region of the Oregon Coast.” That mission includes being good stewards of the lands that make it such a joy to visit. And a big part of that mission is encouraging and supporting responsible tourism.

But what does “responsible tourism” mean? The Manzanita area is full to bursting with great visitor activities that exemplify responsible tourism, like renting kayaks from Wheeler Marina and paddling the Nehalem Bay. Treating yourself (and your kids) to the bay’s beauty and abundant wildlife will make you truly understand why we work so hard to protect it. Then visit the Oswald West State Park for some spectacular hiking, and see if your kids can complete their Junior Ranger program. What they’ll learn about the forest will make them future responsible tourists.

Or stop by our unique Alder Creek Farm while you’re visiting and take a look at what a community land trust can be. This amazing 54 acre former dairy farm has 50 acres of land being restored to its natural state for the benefit of all wildlife and 4 acres of community garden, which grows over 2,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables every year for the Oregon Food Bank. The farm hosts festivals, live music, gardening classes, and much more. LNCT’s three foci are community, conservation, and education. And Alder Creek Farm is a glowing example of all three.

If you’d like to learn more about what LNCT is up to, or to see Alder Creek Farm and the other precious lands we are conserving, visit www.nehalemtrust.org for more information.

Courtesy of Robert Wynia, Development Director, Lower Neahlem Community Trust

Sources:
Os West Jr. Ranger link: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=thingstodo.dsp_juniorRanger
Wheeler Marina kayak rentals: http://www.wheelermarina.net/kayaksandboats.html

Dan Haag
Born and raised in the great white north of Minnesota, Dan Haag felt the pull of the north Oregon Coast in the early 90s. Finding that rain never needed to be shoveled, he married an Oregon girl and settled in Manzanita, where he works as director of the Manzanita Visitors Center. He is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a variety of state and national publications. He spends his free time wandering the area’s many trails, supporting the Oregon wine and beer industry, perusing coastal bookstores, and chasing his black Labrador, Lilo, along the beach.