Yakona Nature Preserve

Photos courtesy of Rena Olson-snyder, Yakona Learning center


Size: 430
Acquired: March 2024
Location: Yaquina River Estuary
How it was Protected:

Yakona Nature Preserve was protected through a conservation easement with McKenzie River Trust in March 2024. Visit yakonaoregon.org to learn more about the property and how you can get involved.

Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center is a living laboratory that serves to protect, preserve, and enhance the natural ecosystems and cultural history of Oregon’s central coast spruce habitat and its wildlife through the arts, education, and stewardship

“We deeply value the opportunity to preserve this land, a small remnant of the spruce-dominated fog belt forests that once blanketed the Pacific Northwest coastline. We take great comfort in knowing McKenzie River Trust will ensure this vital but decimated ecosystem is protected for all time. The McKenzie River Trust team, as new friends and collaborators, has our full trust as we work toward reaching our long-term goals of education, research, and restoration.”

JoAnn Barton, co-founder of Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center

Meet Yakona nature preserve & Learning Center

Why It’s Important

Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center offers a protected Sitka spruce forest with hiking trails and viewpoints onto Yaquina Bay. This unique site provides opportunities for education about resident wildlife, exploration of Yaqo’n Indian history, and the chance for people of all abilities to experience nature as it once was on the central Oregon coast.

Fish and wildlife on the property

Stepping into Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center means stepping into the home of some of the Northwest’s most iconic wildlife. This secluded peninsula is home to a healthy family of black bears, a nesting pair of bald eagles, elk herds, as well as osprey, deer, owls, and bobcats all thriving in their natural habitats. Many smaller mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates thrive in hidden nooks and crannies of Yakona’s wild places. Practice, patience and silence can reward you with glimpses of the creatures that make their homes here.