Daily Archives: February 26, 2009

The future of “Strawberry Plant Park”

First off, I think we need a new name for the Strawberry Plant property. It’s kind of confusing and awkward, in my humble opinion. Park-goers might think the place once grew strawberry plants. Actually, it canned strawberries and shipped them off from a pier over the harbor.

We could name it in honor of the creosote pilings that were removed this month….maybe “Toxic Log Park”? At least that’ll keep the tourists away and leave it for the locals to enjoy. What’s your pick? Post your park name nominations here.

On to the issue at hand: the City Council and park district settled on a design plan for the park on Tuesday. View a detailed illustration of the plan by clicking here.

The design made some history-loving humans unhappy but it’ll likely make a lot of habitat-missing salmon happy.

It’s not all for the fishes. An overwater viewing platform, kayak launch and pedestrian bridge linking to a Winslow trail are in the works. The park district is beginning a public planning process for the property’s massive concrete slab and wooded uplands. Park Commissioner Dave Shorett urges anyone who is thinking about suggesting tennis or basketball courts to take a look at what the seagulls do with the slab.

Click here for my story on the council/park board decision.

Reviving “the center for all things children”

A group of moms in the island’s KidsUp! group are trying to rally support to help bring back a popular nonprofit center for kids and parents.

The old Parent Child Center boasted drop-in family counseling, an indoor play area, a parenting library and a place for moms to hang out, compare notes, tell war stories and sip coffee.

A parent fair is taking place Saturday to raise money and draw in more volunteers for the effort. It’s 10 to 4 p.m. at Woodward Middle School. See below for more info.

While rebuilding the PCC is tough enough on its own, keeping it filled with supportive moms and kids may also be a challenge. KidsUp! had been working under the assumption that as many as 400 families visited the PCC each month. This week, they found that the PCC drew 400 visits a month rather than families. It’s likely that many visits were from repeat users.

Adding to the cloudy forecast is Helpline House, the PCC’s former financial backer. Helpline records show that only about 30 families a month were visiting PCC before it closed two years ago, and most families stopped by only twice a month. KidsUp! isn’t sure Helpline’s numbers are solid, and Helpline is skeptical of the KidsUp! estimates.

Turnout at the parent fair could be an indicator of the current level of interest for a new PCC. KidsUp! is trying to raise up to $100,000 to support the new PCC. Read about their effort and about what the old PCC meant to the moms who used it here.

No more docks on Blakely Harbor

The long legal battle over Blakely Harbor has apparently come to an end.

The Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the city’s ban on new individual-use docks on the south island harbor, Christopher Dunagan reported this week.

The only docks permitted in the future will be two joint-use docks and one community dock.

A lawsuit filed by two south island families argued that that dock prohibition robs of their rightful use of the harbor “under the guise of protecting the aquatic environment.”

Blakely is considered one of Puget Sound’s most pristine harbors and is important habitat for marine species.

For more information, click here.