an urban oasis


2.17 acres of natural wetland and wildlife habitat are now permanently protected, nestled in the north end of Moscow

January 2017: Newly-protected wildlife oasis

Nestled amidst a growing residential neighborhood and working farmland lies a newly-preserved oasis of wetland and upland habitat on the north side of Moscow. 

Since they first purchased the property in 1999, Bill Voxman and Joanne Reece have worked diligently to create a small but important stopover and permanent home for a variety of regional wildlife. Now, looking out their back window, they watch migrating waterfowl find refuge in the pond, play host to hungry deer and moose, and enjoy the chortles and clicks of numerous quail coveys. 

"We just love to see all the wildlife coming through,” says Joanne, "it’s brought so much peace to our lives.”  "Except for the geese,” interjects Bill playfully, "they can be a bit noisy.” 

Important for wildlife and people alike

As the land around them has steadily been developed, Bill and Joanne knew they needed to ensure that the native plants and wildlife that call the property home would always have a natural space to live. Partnering with the Palouse Land Trust, they worked to create a 2.17-acre conservation easement that protects the current habitat and encourages further restoration efforts.

"These wetlands and natural areas are critical for birds and other wildlife as they navigate the farm fields and neighborhoods in Moscow,” says Nick Norton, Conservation Projects Manager at the Palouse Land Trust.  "These little islands of habitat provide important opportunities to rest and refuel during migrations and permanent homes for some of our resident wildlife.”

But this protection of green-space is also deeply important to our human community.  As recognized by the Moscow Comprehensive Plan, the environmentally sensitive design of neighborhoods, the protection and sustainment of natural areas, and opportunities for public recreation and education are all critical to the health and vitality of growing neighborhoods.

Creating a legacy

"With the protection of this land, Joanne and Bill are joining the likes of other visionaries like Maynard and Margaret Fosberg and Gail and Mark DeSantis who’ve protected open spaces that are now recognized as beautiful and essential parts of our community,” says Amy Trujillo, Executive Director of the Land Trust.  "We’re so grateful for their forethought and commitment to the quality of life for current and future citizens of Moscow.”