A Mission to Connect and Protect the Dishman Hills
The Dishman Hills Conservancy, Washington State’s oldest land trust, was founded in September of 1966 by a group of local conservationists led by Tom Rogers as the Dishman Hills Natural Area Association. The goal of their founders was to purchase conservation land for recreation and education to ensure that the Hills would remain protected and open for public access in perpetuity.
Dishman Hills Natural Area consists of 530 acres of dramatically sculpted rocky hills and ponds with areas of grasses mixed with pine and fir forest, aspen groves, views, and a profusion of wildflowers every spring. Dishman Hills has been protected as a natural area for over 30 years, serving as habitat for wildlife and as a passive recreational resource with miles of designated trails.
Beginning in 1966, land was purchased and donated by the Dishman Hills Conservancy to protect the hills from urban sprawl and development. Spokane County Parks and Recreation Department, Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the nonprofit Dishman Hills Conservancy are partner stewards and have worked together to preserve this unique resource.
Today, DHC remains a community-led organization, with land purchases and stewardship projects made possible by the support of thousands of members, volunteers, and supporters throughout the Northwest. DHC owns over 1,200 acres of land and continues to add protected land by donation, purchase, and/or easement.
With a mission to permanently protect the Dishman Hills while connecting people to nature through conservation, education, and recreation, the Dishman Hills Conservancy envisions a vibrant, continuous ecosystem from the Dishman Hills Natural Area and the Rocks of Sharon to the Stevens Creek Trailhead that is permanently protected, well managed, and recognized as an asset to the Greater Spokane Community.
DHC’s 5-year Conservation Plan is to connect the existing conservation areas to create an extensive wildlife corridor and recreation area right between Spokane and Spokane Valley. The plan is to add 1,000+ acres by 2022 and create three new trailheads. In early 2021, DHC and Spokane County Parks will add over 500 acres to the Hills — the County constructed the Phillips Creek Trailhead in 2020, and DHC will build the Willow Springs Trailhead in 2021. The third new trailhead has not yet been determined. This project has had community support for over 50 years, and together they will connect and protect the Dishman Hills for everyone.
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