Category Archives: Parks

Slip into a dock fundraiser

The island's park district received a grant to replace the Hidden Cove dock, which has been closed because of safety concerns. Photo by Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun
The island’s park district received a grant to replace the Hidden Cove dock, which has been closed because of safety concerns. Photo by Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun

Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation is working to raise $100,000 to help the park district supplement money for a new Hidden Cove dock.

Earlier this month, the park district received a $300,000 matching grant from the state to replace the nearly 200-foot-long dock, which is closed because of safety concerns.

The foundation is having a dock party at Hidden Cove Park on Sunday from 3-6 p.m. with swimming, games and snacks for donations.

Hidden Cove’s dock one of two public float docks on the island. Bainbridge’s other float dock is at Waterfront Park in Winslow.

Hidden Cove dock had been a popular swimming and kayak launching site on the north end of the island.

Another popular swimming and launch site is the Point White Pier on the southwest end of the island.

Hidden Cove dock party attendees are encouraged to walk or ride to the event. Those driving can park at the Hidden Cove ballfields and follow balloons along the trail to the park.

Easier access coming to Manitou Beach


Island residents and visitors will eventually be able to park along Manitou Beach Drive in a small parking lot by a the beach park looking out at downtown Seattle across Puget Sound.

City Council approved a plan for two bike racks and four parking spots, including one handicap spot, on the west side of the road.

There also will be a 6-foot-wide, ADA-accessible boardwalk on the east side of the road over a ditch, allowing access to the 1.36-acre beach.

Mark Epstein, the city’s capital projects coordinator, told the council the project would cost about $54,000-$60,000. He also said the city could save about $15,200 if the city performs some of the work.

Last day for election filing

It’s the last day of filing for the fall elections. While one City Council member has withdrawn, another has filed.

Here is the full list of candidates as of Friday morning:

City Council

At-large seat

Pegeen Mulhern

Ron Peltier

North Ward

Kol Medina

Susan D. Bergen, withdrew

Central Ward

Michael Scott, appointed earlier this year

South Ward

Sarah Blossom, incumbent


School Board

District 1

Lynn Smith

Tatiana Epanchin-Troyan

Duncan C. Macfarlane

District 3

Mev Hoberg, incumbent

District 4

Tim Kinkead, incumbent


Fire Commissioner

Position 1

Scott Isenman, incumbent


Park Board

Position 2

Ken DeWitt, incumbent

John Grinter

Position 4

Jay Kinney, incumbent


Sewer District No. 7 Commissioner

Position 3

Sarah Lee, incumbent

Mary Victoria Dombrowski

City approves off-leash dog trial at Pritchard Park

Claire Hicks plays fetch in the water with her dog French at Pritchard Park on Bainbridge Island. (LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN)
Claire Hicks plays fetch in the water with her dog French at Pritchard Park on Bainbridge Island. (LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN)

Pritchard Park will be open to off-leash dogs under voice command all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as Saturdays before noon. The ordinance was approved by a City Council vote Tuesday night.

The off-leash ordinance will go into effect as soon as the city can post signs. The city also plans to add mutt mitt locations and additional trash cans to the park.

Pritchard Park is owned by the city, but is planned to transfer to the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks District later this year. The parks district does not allow off-leash dogs except in designated off-leash areas, including the Strawberry Hill Dog Park.

The off-leash amendment will end two weeks before the park is transferred to the park district.

Parking proposed for Manitou Beach Drive

A view from along Manitou Beach Drive. (Kitsap Sun file photo)

The city is proposing a “small parking area” on Manitou Beach Drive, making it easier for residents and guests to enjoy the city-owned waterfront property.

While there are views of Puget Sound and Seattle from the shoreline, Manitou Beach Drive is a narrow two-lane road without shoulders.

The city owns .13 acre of waterfront land across the street from 9865 Manitou Beach Drive, according  to the county parcel search.

The city owns about another acre next to 9865 Manitou Beach Drive, where six parking spots are being proposed.

A public meeting Wednesday night will help identify how many parking spots are needed or wanted for access to the waterfront, said Mark Epstein with the city’s capital projects coordinator.

The public meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 280 Madison Avenue.

Manitou Beach Parking Alternative--six stall

Leash requirements expanding on the island

Claire Hicks plays fetch in the water with her dog French at Pritchard Park on Bainbridge Island. (LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN)
Claire Hicks plays fetch in the water with her dog French at Pritchard Park on Bainbridge Island. (LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN)

Bainbridge Island City Council is moving forward with changes to the city’s animal ordinance, which will affect where dogs need to be leashed on the island.

The ordinance updates will require dogs to be leashed in two major business areas on the island — Winslow and Lynwood Center — and give teeth to the park district’s current leash rule.

Under the city’s current code, dogs can be off leash on city property if under voice command.

The school and park districts already have their own regulations that require dogs to be leashed on their property, except at Strawberry Hill’s off-leash dog park. Those rules are not included in the city’s current city ordinance.

Updates to the city’s animal ordinance will include that dogs must be leashed on park district land, providing penalties for violators.

Dogs owners can face up to a $300 fine for not keeping their dogs under voice control or on leash.

Dog owners who do not prevent their dogs from injuring or intimidating pedestrians or cyclists can face up to a $1,000 fine for having a dangerous animal.

The city began discussions about changing its animal ordinance months ago at the request of the park district, which has struggled with enforcing its leash rule.

One resident who spoke out against changes to the ordinance Tuesday night said the park district hasn’t enforced its own leash rule.

Terry Lande, the park district’s executive director, previously said that the park’s rule has little teeth without the backing of a city ordinance and its penalties. Violators of the leash rule can only be asked to leash their dogs or leave the park property, Lande said.

The city had previously considered requiring dogs to be leashed in city owned parks as well, but has since decided to only apply the leash regulations to park district owned parks.

Other updates to the ordinance will require dogs be leashed in the Winslow and Lynwood Center business areas. The Winslow business area will extend from the waterfront to High School Road, and fall between Madison Avenue and Ferncliff Avenue.

The city-owned Waterfront Park will be included in the Winslow business area, and dogs will have to be leashed there.

The city also is considering a trial period to specifically allow off-leash dogs at Pritchard Park, another city-owned park, during certain hours, days or in certain parts of the park.

The off-leash experiment for Pritchard Park is expected to be discussed at a later council meeting.

Eventually, the city plans to transfer nearly all of the Pritchard Park over to the park district. About half of the park is already co-owned by the city and park district, where the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is located.

The park transfer is expected to take place some time after September, said City Manageer Doug Schulze.

The city won’t make any conditional requirement in favor of off-leash dog spaces or times at the park for the transfer to take place, Tollefson said.

While leashes will be required in more areas on the island, there are no plans to change the animal control budget for enforcement or code penalties.

Updates to the city’s animal ordinance are expected to be adopted next week.

Leash ordinance changes will likely be discussed next study session


Although the Bainbridge Island City Council did not discuss updating the animal ordinance during Tuesday’s meeting, it is expected to be on the council’s next study session agenda.

The proposed changes would require dog owners to leash their dogs in the Winslow and Lynwood Center business areas, as well as city parks. A story in last week’s Islander incorrectly stated the changes would not apply to city-owned parks. The story has been updated online.

The potential ordinance change also would include that the school and park district require dogs to be leashed on their property.

In recent years, the park district has had incidents of off-leash dogs intimidating or injuring people as well as horses.

Under the current city code, dog owners can face up to $1,000 fine for not preventing their dogs from intimidating or injuring pedestrians or cyclists.

Owners failing to keep their dog under voice control or leashed face a citation and up to a $300 fine.

There are no proposed changes to the ordinance’s penalties.

Revisiting waterfront park’s priorities

Participants in a city park visioning meeting walk the Waterfront trail in 2013. Photo by TAD SOOTER / KITSAP SUN
Participants in a city park visioning meeting walk the Waterfront trail in 2013. Photo by TAD SOOTER / KITSAP SUN

Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park and its new dock will be back on the city council agenda after the board rescinded last week’s vote following public outcry on the decision to prioritize the dock.

During the Jan. 6, the council voted 4-2 to phase in park construction as funds are available, because anticipated grant money didn’t come through and left the city $835,000 short on the project.

Council members disputed the original vision of the park priority and some noted the project had been listed as an information only item on last week’s agenda.

Councilman Wayne Roth and Mayor Anne Blair said the motion that passed last week in favor of prioritizing a new dock was also unclear.

Roth, who voted against last week’s motion, said that he isn’t against a new dock and had understood funding for it would be dealt with depending on what grant money was available.

The new dock is estimated to cost a little more than $2 million, and the park improvements about $1 million. Without the grant funds, the city has $2,232,000 for the project, leaving less than $250,000 for the park after paying for the dock.

Sarah Blossom and Steve Bonkowski voted against rescinding the vote Tuesday night.

Bonkowski said he didn’t believe the council was going in the wrong direction by prioritizing the dock, which he views as dangerous.

The city began looking at updating waterfront park last summer to improve the 5.5-acre park space and dock, which is more than 30 years old. Its 20 concrete floats and 23 piles are deteriorating, and also contain toxic creosote.

Along with a new dock, park improvements would include connecting trails to neighborhoods, along with ADA accessible paths and a viewing plaza or vendor area. The current plans call for turning the tennis court into a “multiuse area.”

Bonkowski said he understand previous discussions on the park concept to be for water access and “water access includes a dock.”

The project has been added to the Jan. 20 agenda for discussion and public comment.

A full story will be online with the Kitsap Sun on Wednesday.

Help us rank the top 10 Islander stories of 2014

The tugboat Pacific Knight helps maneuver the state ferry Tacoma to the Bainbridge Island dock after it lost power while making the 12:20 p.m. sailing from Seattle to Bainbridge on July 29, 2014. MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN

We are asking readers to rank the top Bainbridge Islander stories from this past year in a survey. The top 10 will be posted on this blog.

You can take the survey here.

If you need to refresh your memory on a story,  they are listed below in no particular order with links:


House passes memorial site’s proper name, awaiting Senate approval

After working several years to have legislation correct a 2008 law to reflect a name of a memorial chosen by Bainbridge residents, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, successfully introduced a bill that was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday.

The bill – which would ensure the site would be properly recognized as the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial – still needs be approved by the Senate before it can become law.

“We’re so grateful for Congressman Kilmer’s leadership and hard work to get this bill passed, and we are looking forward to working with Senators (Patty) Murray and (Maria) Cantwell to ensure the bill’s passage in the U.S. Senate,” said Clarence Moriwaki, the memorial’s president.

Moments after the bill had unanimously passed the House, Moriwaki said one of Kilmer’s staff members called to tell him the good news.

“It’s very rare for any freshman congressman to prime sponsor a bill that even gets a hearing, let alone make it to the House floor and passed, unanimously – especially in this Congress known mostly for inaction and a climate of strident partisanship,” Moriwaki said. “(This) not only says a great deal about Derek’s ability to bring people together, but think of it: A unanimous vote to honor and remember the 120,000 Japanese-Americans who suffered the unconstitutional exclusion during World War II – a stark contrast to 72 years ago when there was virtually unanimous support for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which set in motion this sad chapter in American history. Time can indeed be a healing solvent.”

The memorial is located at the former Eagledale ferry dock and is the only national memorial to the internment of Japanese-Americans not located on one of the 10 incarceration sites.

“I am pleased that the House was able to come together and pass legislation to properly recognize the unfair and unjust treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II,” Kilmer said in a news release. “The moving and heartbreaking stories chronicled at the Bainbridge memorial, describing how families were rounded up and forcibly removed from their homes, remind us that we must always be vigilant in fighting prejudice and discrimination.”

Moriwaki said the name change to include “exclusion” was a long process.

“We’ve been working on this name change for several years, first with Congressmen Jay Inslee and Norm Dicks, who both were working hard on ways both legislatively and administratively, to make this happen,” Moriwaki said. “However, at that time the U.S. House of Representatives was not very productive, and then Rep. Insee ran for governor and Rep. Dicks resigned. Plus, Bainbridge Island was redistricted from the 1st to 6th District, so we put the idea on the back burner until the outcome of the 2012 election.”

However, things changed once Kilmer was elected.

“I knew Derek, and shortly after he assumed office we reached out to him and his staff, asking him as out new congressman to pick up where we left off,” Moriwaki said. “Derek was not only excited, he was commendably proud to commit his time and energy to make this happen. Derek’s congressional staff is professional and competent, not only personally meeting with me on my trips back to Washington D.C. to attend the National Parks Conservation Association’s Annual Meetings, but they reached out to me for information, advice and stayed in constant contact and communication in every step of the bill’s progress. Indeed, Derek’s staff personally called me moments after the bill had unanimously passed. ”

Although it would seem adding one word shouldn’t take an act of Congress, Moriwaki said exclusion is “no ordinary word.”

“Officially adding ‘exclusion’ to the name of this beautiful memorial is so vital to completely tell this sad chapter of American history, because not only were 120,000 Japanese-Americans forcibly removed and placed behind barbed wire in American concentration camps, but some people don’t know that everyone with a drop of blood of Japanese ancestry were also forbidden to remain in the exclusion zone,” Moriwaki said. “By adding the word ‘exclusion’ we are remembering and honoring everyone who suffered from this unconstitutional violation of civil liberties, and hopefully inspire everyone to never let fear, hysteria and prejudice deprive anyone of life, liberty and equal protection under the law.”

Below is a link to a YouTube video of Kilmer speaking Monday on the House floor in support of his legislation officially renaming the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial:

Birding on Bloedel: Northern neighbor stays year-round in Northwest

0127_Canada goose by ships 2“A Year of Birding in Bloedel” is a column that runs every Friday in the Bainbridge Islander. The project is planned to continue in 52 parts through 2014 to help readers find and identify birds in the island’s garden sanctuary.  Beginning with this entry on the Canada geese, each column will also be published here on the Bainbridge Conversation blog each Friday. 

The author, Ted Anderson, is a retired professor of biology, having taught at McKendree University (Ill.) for 32 years and for the University of Michigan’s summer biological station for 20 years, where he frequently taught the biology of birds.

Anderson is also the author of “Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow, from Genes to Populations” (2006), and “The Life of David Lack, Father of Evolutionary Ecology” (2013). Ted and his wife Carol have been members of Bloedel Reserve for 7 years. They live in Kingston. 

No one requires an introduction to the Canada goose (Branta canadensis), a common year-round resident of the Pacific Northwest. Anyone who has visited parks around our area lakes or Puget Sound is familiar with the unappreciated “calling cards” these geese leave on lawns and paths close to water. Grazing on grass and other terrestrial plants is their primary means of foraging, although they can also be seen tipping up in shallow water like dabbling ducks to feed on aquatic vegetation. At Bloedel they are frequently found grazing in grassy areas near the Bird Marsh, or on the lawns near the Visitor’s Center.

The Canada goose is common throughout much of North America, breeding as far north as Alaska and the Yukon in Canada, and wintering wherever there is permanent open water. Their spring migration in southern Wisconsin inspired Aldo Leopold to proclaim in A Sand County Almanac, “One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese cleaving the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.”

Biologists have long observed that many widespread species vary in size and/or coloration across their broad geographical range. One way in which they have formally recognized these differences is by the naming of subspecies, within-species groups that differ significantly in size and/or coloration. Most subspecific differences are so subtle that they are recognizable only to specialists. Until very recently, however, scientists considered some of the most northern breeding populations, in which adults are only about half the size of our local Canada Geese, to be easily identified subspecies of the Canada goose. These populations are now recognized as a separate species, named the Cackling goose. A wintering Cackling goose has joined the resident Canada geese at Bloedel this winter.  Look closely at the foraging flocks of geese for an individual that is only half the size of its compatriots.

The Canada Goose has been successfully introduced into England, where many consider it a pest. In fact, they maintain the Canada goose and the gray squirrel (also introduced from the United States) represent our retaliation for their export of the house sparrow and European starling to the United States.

Park district floats new concept for Blakely Harbor


The park district will present a proposed new vision for Blakely Harbor Park this week.

The public is invited to view and comment on a proposed new concept plan for the park at 6 p.m. Thursday at the district’s Strawberry Hill Park headquarters. More details on the meeting can be found here. An overview is posted below.

Comments can also be sent to Perry Barrett – – by Sept. 17. Continue reading