Work wraps up on Walker Park — but there’s a catch

Alex Mesick (right) and a crew from the Puget Sound Corps plant a garden at the Lillian and James Walker Park in West Bremerton. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN
Alex Mesick (right) and a crew from the Puget Sound Corps plant a garden at the Lillian and James Walker Park in West Bremerton. LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN

Construction of Bremerton’s newest park is almost entirely complete. The grass is growing and the trees have been planted at Lillian and James Walker Park, on the banks of Anderson Cove.

The city, however, is hesitant to open it just yet. Wyn Birkenthal, director of Bremerton’s parks department, says new grass planted there isn’t ready for people just yet.

“While we could hold an opening at this level of completion, a danger is that citizens will consider the site open for use and the recent hydroseeding will be exposed to foot traffic combined with winter rains that would cause us to reseed and replant  further delaying public use of the area,” he told me.

At 2/3 of an acre, the park will give residents of this West Bremerton area a waterfront parkland — something they’ve not had before.

Birkenthal also pointed out that those who advocated for the park’s naming — in honor of James and Lillian Walker, who helped pierce a culture of segregation in Bremerton in the civil rights struggle — need time to be involved in its inauguration.

“I want to make sure we take the time to involve these groups and individuals in the Park opening,” Birkenthal said. “We are not there yet as all efforts have gone toward physical work on the park.” 

You may have joined us for a walk through Anderson Cove in August, where we got to explore the park before it was hydroseeded. Looks like it will be a few more months before we’ll be able to go back.

The grand opening is slated for May 2016.

The new park in Anderson Cove is almost done.
The new park in Anderson Cove in summer 2015.

One thought on “Work wraps up on Walker Park — but there’s a catch

  1. Much respect for Wyn on this issue and his caution to ensure that important groups are included instead of being run over by a couple of elected officials that need that next ribbon cutting opportunity to feel important.

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