Meet our new Forest Educator, Melissa

Melissa recently joined the Friends of the Forest team as the new forest educator. She grew up in Jupiter, FL and spent nearly everyday while growing up outside playing in the empty lot and forest preserve next to her family home. It was this time spent with nature that ignited her passion for the conservation of our natural world. Melissa graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in environmental science with minors in natural resource ethics and policy and soil and water science. After graduation she realized the important role education plays in conservation efforts which led her to complete her M.Ed. in environmental education at Florida Atlantic University. Locally, Melissa has completed the Salish Sea Stewards course and has worked as a leader for middle school youth in the San Juan Island Youth Conservation Corps. Her favorite pastime in the ACFL is trail running. When not out running in the ACFL she loves sailing, creating art, and hiking.

Join our next hike

Whistle Lake Hike for Adults

  • Friday, December 7th, 2018

  • 10:00 AM -12:00 PM

The hush of Whistle near winter solstice couldn't be farther from the madding crowd of summer. Enjoy our deep water jewel of the forest during the season of recharge, and feel the stored sunlight energy emanating from the green.

Meet at the Whistle Lake parking lot at the end of Whistle Lake Road. 


A huge thank you to those who sponsored, donated, or attended the 2018 Annual Benefit Event! We had another fun and successful celebration with $65,000 raised for youth forest education programs that year after year continue to have a positive impact within our community. Thank you to all who support this mission and legacy.

Want a sneak Peak of This year’s Live auction items?

Click here to preview our 2018 Benefit Event program.

Benefit Tickets are now sold out.

Tickets to this year’s annual benefit event on Saturday, November 3rd from 5 to 11 pm have sold out. If you are still interested in attending, please contact the office by phone at (360)293-3725 or via email at info@friendsoftheacfl.org to be added to our waiting list. Thank you to everyone for your support. This year’s event is shaping up to be one for the books!

A New Era begins

There are some changes happening here at Friends of the Forest.

Click here to read a statement from the Board of Directors.

ACFL Work Parties

Please check the calendar for ACFL Work Party dates! Work Parties generally run from 9 AM-11 AM and are a fun, active way to get involved. 


Please check out our 2017 Annual Report and see the good things we are doing! 

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Friends of the Forest Totes Now Available

Pick up these great new tote bags on sale now at Anacortes Health and Nutrition.

Little Cranberry Fire

As most of you know, there was a forest fire in the Little Cranberry Lake Area of the ACFL that began on August 25th. City staff and first responders supported DNR fire crews as they worked for days to contain the fire to 17.6 acres. The cause is still unknown, though suspected to be human related. It began close to the old copper mine, also know as The Bat Cave. Trail #122 remains closed at this time.

Trails #102 and #103 have recently reopened.  As in the past, these trails are only for hikers—not bikes, horses, or motorcycles. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay on the trail and do not walk off in the burned area , as lots of new growth is coming up in the burned area and we do not want to damage it. Also, going off trail in the fire zone can be extremely dangerous due to holes, loose rocks, and weakened trees, not to mention going off trail has always been illegal in the ACFL. 

We will continue to work closely with our friends at the city to help increase public awareness about the fire, and encourage people to stay out of the fire area for their own safety as well as to promote the natural ecological process of recovery for this precious area of our woods.

About the friends

The Friends of the Forest is a non-profit citizens organization dedicated to the preservation of the ACFL through education, outreach, and stewardship. We first formed in 1987 to “preserve, protect, and enjoy” our community forest. Our group was instrumental in the successful effort to halt revenue logging in the ACFL, and essential to the creation and promotion of a system to provide long term legal preservation of the forest. We welcome all who share in our mission.


Upcoming Activities