Best capital of green
What didn’t happen here: Logging, silty streams, and a denuded forest.
Why it’s a winner: Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is home to two Environmental Award winners, thanks to regional land trusts preserving and restoring former logging lands—so you’ll experience lush green forests instead of miles of stumps. Honors for best river preservation project go to the Hoh River Trust (hohrivertrust.org), which, for $12 million, acquired 7,000 acres along the Hoh River (pictured here), which runs from Olympic National Park to the Pacific. Not far away, Elk Creek Conservation Area’s 255 acres were saved by the North Olympic Land Trust (nolt.org). Amenities include a hiking trail and a Survivor-worthy 65-foot-long log bridge over the creek.
Take a look: Hoh River: Preserve lands lie off Upper Hoh Rd. Elk Creek: 1.9 miles east of Forks on Calawah Way.