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Tour planned at Naas Natural Area

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust will give a walking tour this Saturday of the Naas Natural Area Preserve in Ebey’s Prairie overlooking Admiralty Inlet.

The tour is 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 28, and organizers said the prairie will be blooming and the golden paintbrush will be in its glory.  Mark Sheehan, project manager for the site, will be on the tour to explain the land trust's restoration work on the prairie.

Prairies were once a significant part of Whidbey Island’s landscape, but it's believed that less than 1 percent of the original native grassland remains.

Also rare: the golden paintbrush, a smaller yellow cousin of the common scarlet paintbrush. The plant is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and only 12 populations occur naturally in the world. Noting that five of those sites are in the grasslands of Whidbey Island prairies, land trust officials said they have been actively working to restore the golden paintbrush on the 33-acre Naas Natural Area Preserve.

Parking is limited for the tour, so the group will meet at the Coupeville Park-and-Ride (201 S. Main St.) at 10 a.m. to coordinate carpools.

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