The late Bob Heirman has been a local hero of mine since I first met him in the 9th grade. He came to my school to talk about his book Snohomish My Beloved County: an Anglers Anthology. His passion for hiking, fishing and trains struck a cord in my soul. I had to see everything that he spoke about and experience first hand what he had painted so well in his stories.
Mr. Heirman was secretary/treasurer of the Snohomish Sportmans club for nearly 60 years. Despite other incredible ventures his most outstanding work was done as a preservationist. His belief was that if more people were educated about the values of our local wild lands and wildlife that we would all become better stewards. I couldn’t agree more.
The Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve was a rescue of precious land that was headed toward subdivision and royal clusters. Bob, the Snohomish Sportsman Club and the Snohomish Parks Department acquired the land and immediately began rehabilitating the area to form a sanctuary for wildlife. Also, preserving fishing access to Thomas’ Eddy, a popular fishing hole on the Snohomish River.
It had been a few years, so I decided to take my nieces for a visit to the park over Christmas break to see the progress on the re-wilding. I was immediately in awe of the progress. Feeling like Snow White with birds flying around me and chipmunks at foot. It really had come to fruition and an incredible legacy for Bob Heirman. I’m sure he was very proud of this project.
When you first come down a steep hill into the park you’ll find a peaceful Shadow Lake to your left full of critters and another more marshy Lake to your right. If you keep going on the main trail you eventually reach the Eddy. We only had to hop a few logs due to washouts along the way, but found a pleasant picnic spot amidst the rocky shores of the Snohomish River, skipped a few stones and headed back home. Thank you, Bob, for this treasure to be shared for generations to come.
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