Pinecroft Natural Area Preserve

ponderosa pine/grassland ecosystem
Situated atop a knoll just east of Spokane, this 100 acre site preserves the largest of only a few remaining examples of a ponderosa pine/grassland ecosystem that was historically much more common in the Spokane Valley. Despite an increasing level of urban development in the surrounding landscape, the preserve still supports nesting hawks and owls, and a variety of songbirds.  
Features Protected: ponderosa pine/rough fescue plant community, ponderosa pine/mallow-leaf ninebark plant community, ponderosa pine/bluebunch wheatgrass plant community, and ponderosa pine/common snowberry plant community.
Ecoregion: Okanogan (Spokane County) 

Science, Research and Monitoring

Public and private universities, other research institutions and individual researchers may contact DNR to propose a research project at the site. If you are interested in pursuing research at Pinecroft NAP, please contact David Wilderman, natural areas ecologist, at  
Examples of research and monitoring projects 
  • Impacts of edge effects on nest predation.  This is an on-going investigation into the effects of forest habitat fragmentation on bird nests, conducted by field classes at Gonzaga University.
  • North Central High School Science Symposium, 42 research projects on a variety of topics - from genetic sequence analysis in meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) to the impacts of arthropods on soil fertility - were designed and carried out by students in Spokane between 2005-2007.

Environmental Education and Public Access 

Currently no formal educational programs are available at Pinecroft NAP. The site is not ADA accessible and facilities are not available. For more information, contact the DNR Northeast Region natural areas manager.