Mountaineers Foundation: Natural Places, Sustainable Practices

Natural Places, Sustainable Practices


Welcome to the Mountaineers Foundation.

We are a registered 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1968 as Mountaineers Foundation. The Foundation, working through our volunteer board of directors, operate exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes to promote conservation of local ecosystems through research, publications, and lectures.

We are celebrating our 50th anniversary this year! We are using this milestone to revise our organization’s name to better reflect our core values. Soon, we will be doing business as Keta Legacy Foundation.


People Connecting with and Protecting Healthy Ecosystems


Our mission is to promote actions and fosters understanding to inspire conservation from the Rhododendron Preserve to the Salish Sea region.

Our mission and vision combine to give us a two-fold strategy. We proudly steward, preserve, and restore the beautiful 386-acre Rhododendron Preserve on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State. The Preserve has a long history dating back to the original 74-acre parcel purchase in 1915 by The Mountaineers. The property grew over time with the most recent addition in 2012 when Mountaineers Foundation purchased 69.7 acres from the Ueland Tree Farm thanks to a generous grant from the Suquamish Tribe and donations to the Foundation. The purchase includes Chico Creek and its floodplain, valleys with mature vegetation, and upland areas with regenerating forests.

Much of the Preserve has never been clearcut, and about 70 acres of old growth forest lies at its heart. Ancient western red cedar and the spectacular Big Tree, a Douglas fir tree over 30 feet around, remind us what the Puget lowland looked like centuries ago. Salmon and other wildlife abound.

We also support grants covering a gamut of environmental education projects. Several times each year, our Community Grants Committee reviews and prioritizes grant applications and provides funding based on a number of factors outlined in our public grant guidelines. Funded projects have addressed a wide range of conservation education projects, from public classroom curriculum to community-focused, habitat-restoration communications and trainings.