Category Archives: Parks

IN PHOTOS: A walk in the woods on a gorgeous day

Photo by Richard Huddy.
Photo by Richard Huddy.

I hope you were able to come out Saturday for our Story Walk through the Eastpark Nature Area. Around 50 of you did, exploring the dense clustering of Madrona trees that inhabit the almost 16 acre forest.

I could not have been happier with the turnout. We started with a chat in the parking lot of the Manette Mart, where I utilized the bed of Arborist Jim Trainer’s truck to address the crowd (Special thanks to Mr. Trainer for his expertise and his truck). I hope everyone learned something about these woods they did not know before.

We stopped at the entrance of the nature area where Harrison Medical Center staff and visitors enter for some photos and some more discussion. Thereafter, everyone was on their own to hike the trails.

Thanks again for coming! If you missed it, don’t worry, we’ve got more Story Walks to come this year. I’ll keep you posted.

Here’s some photos from this Story Walk.

Photo by Robin Henderson.
Happy trails! Photo by Robin Henderson.
Photo by Robin Henderson.
Where we began. Photo by Robin Henderson.
A nice group pic. Photo by Richard Huddy.
A nice group pic. Photo by Richard Huddy.
And of course, this is why we were there.



Pendergast crash makes for one dark parking lot

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 8.46.00 AM

If you’ve been up to Pendergast Regional Park in the evening lately, you know the parking lot is quite dark. That’s because a driver lost control there recently and plowed into the electrical cabinet that controls the lights at the popular soccer and sports complex.

The Bremerton City Council took the unusual measure Wednesday night of voting to spend up to $75,000 to fix the cabinet as soon as possible. Why it was a bit peculiar was because the Council meeting is what is known as a “study session,” a roundtable discussion that goes over City agenda items the week prior to the more formal, televised meeting where they’re usually voted on. Study sessions typically do not offer time for public comment.

Chal Martin, the city’s public works director, asked the Council to make the emergency approval given that there’s not really an option — the cabinet must be fixed. And, for public safety, the sooner, the better. The Council agreed in a unanimous vote.

So what happened? Bremerton police tell me that a Belfair woman, 20, was speeding in the parking lot the afternoon of Jan. 28 when she lost control of her car, striking the electrical cabinet. It’s unclear whether a ticket was issued but the officer told me that it’s most likely one was.

The Council was also assured the City would be demanding the work be covered by the woman (or rather, through her insurance).

What Pendergast's parking lot looks like at night right now. Photo by Councilwoman Leslie Daugs.
What Pendergast’s parking lot looks like at night right now. Photo by Councilwoman Leslie Daugs.

Sheldon Boulevard is a whole lot smoother

The old Sheldon Boulevard …
… And the new.
With all the construction projects going on around Bremerton these days, it’s easy to overlook the work recently completed on Sheldon Boulevard near Evergreen-Rotary Park. Crews this week just laid down new pavement that runs on the street for almost the whole length of the park and also put in a new sidewalk.

You can see from the photos above — before and after — that some new pavement was long overdue.

But a new street surface was not the impetus for the project. Aging sewer and water lines dating back to the 1930s were literally rotting underneath it, and needed to be replaced. To boot, the city’s Public Works and Utilities Department is rerouting entirely a section of pollution-causing sewer pipe that run along the beach that fronts the Port Washington Narrows. To get it off the beach, they’re installing a new pipe that will run on the streets that parallel the beach, to include Washington Avenue.

But don’t expect things to get too cozy down near the park. Remember that a big park renovation project, installing Kitsap County’s first accessible playground, is about to get underway. And a large apartment project is planned along Sheldon Boulevard as well.

Bremerton Education Roundup

Two items for a Friday morning that I’ll just send you other places to read, if you haven’t seen them yet:

Just posted on the Sun’s main page is this story about state school superintendent Randy Dorn’s visit to Washington, D.C., where he shared some successful ideas from our state — including Bremerton — with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. To me the surprising thing isn’t Bremerton — it’s that for once it’s not the early education model getting the praise.

The Associated Press reports that the program he highlighted provides incentives for Bremerton dropouts to return to school. It’s not something we’ve covered recently, though sounds akin to the new Washington Youth Acadmy in town, so I’d expect we’ll check in on it soon if it’s being proven as something that works for the district.

The morning’s second story is here, from the Kitsap Education blog by correspondent Marietta Nelson. The city council and school board heard last night from Robin Waite, who’s behind the Kitsap Pumas soccer club that will be playing at Memorial Stadium this summer. Waite floated the idea of a new soccer complex being built at the closed junior high on Wheaton Way. I’d heard about talk of some type of collaboration between different entities (city, schools, OC, parks department, etc.) on such a project last year, so maybe the Pumas can be the private-sector catalyst for that effort. Clearly there are a lot of what ifs on the venture, but Waite seems like a guy who dreams big and doesn’t wait around to make things happen. That’s how the soccer team got to Bremerton in the first place.

It’s worth a read, and we’ll keep tabs on where this plan goes. If the existing fields were removed (there’s two backstops and a football field there now), my softball team would have to move our practices. But that may be a blessing — ground balls are always reminding me that an infield the texture of the moon’s surface is not the place for a guy who values his teeth.

— David Nelson

Parks, Plans and the Public

Lions Park Panorama

I cracked wise on the recent pleasant weather in that last post, but I have enjoyed the sun. The seeds I ordered for my garden arrived Thursday, I read on the porch one afternoon, I ran through a fairly full Lion’s Park on Monday morning.

Which reminded me to pass along an announcement about a public meeting coming next week. The city is planning a renovation of the park, and asking for insight from users as they finalize plans. The city has grant money in hand for low-impact development as part of the renovation, and among the goals are water quality improvements in Port Washington Narrows. That may not directly enhances the Sunday night softball experience, but maybe someone will get creative and explain how new dugouts and a beer garden are needed holistic improvements.

The meeting is Tuesday at 6 p.m., at the Sheridan Park Community Center, just up the street on Lebo.

Also next week, if you’re really feelin’ civic-minded, is another round of the Manette Sub-Area plan meetings. At 5:30 p.m. at the Norm Dicks building, there will be an open house on the draft plan. According to an email from the Manette Neighborhood Coalition, they’ll likely bring up zoning issues concerning the R10 designation, or where the commercial core zoning of the neighborhood will be, and maximum height designations for the entire neighborhood, or whether any part of the plan will include buildings over 35 feet.

After this open house, the Sub-Area plan is scheduled to head for the Planning Commission March 17.

For more, see the city’s Web site, which includes a new photo gallery by participants of examples elsewhere of models Manette could follow, or check Have fun planning!

— David Nelson

Do You Know This Woman?

The city of Bremerton would like to know who the woman is pictured at the end of this entry. Gary Sexton, the city’s economic development director, picked her photo as one representing what went on at the shipyard during the first world war. A statue of the woman will be placed at the newest downtown park, expected to open in a few months.

If you know who she is, contact the city at (360) 473-5269 or by e-mail at

East Park Summer Meltdown on Friday

snow angel.JPG
Photo Credit

The mercury on Friday is expected to get as high as 88 degrees.

But the forecast calls for snow, localized entirely in East Park.

Using cutting edge technology, shaved ice from the Bremerton Ice Center will be transported via bobcat to East Park. There a summer snow mound will be built for kids – and immature adults – to play in and build snowmen.

Hence, the the East Park Summer Meltdown, an evening festival to reacquaint neighbors with their old friend, East Park.

But that’s not all!

The festival held at the park near the corner of Magnuson Way and Homer Jones Drive starts at 5 p.m. In addition to the mound of snow for the playing, there will be free swimming, free ice skating, carnival games, face painting, Cosmo the clown, Sparky the fire dog and much, much more!

Click here for more info for the fest.

The party is sponsored by the City of Bremerton Parks and Recreation Department, Bremerton Ice Center and Kitsap Family YMCA.

Killer Trees

hollow trees.jpg
City of Bremerton

Above, courtesy of the Parks and Recreation Department, is a picture of one of those pesky hollow poplar trees in Evergreen Park that are worrying city officials.

The trees have become potentially dangerous and the city plans to remove them lest a strong wind comes along and knocks them down and onto a person.

The community meeting about the tree removal and also tree installation at Evergreen Park is Thursday at 6 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the WSU Cooperative Extension conference room on the Fourth Floor of the Norm Dicks building.

In advance of the meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Wyn Birkenthal told the City Council Wednesday that Puget Sound Energy planned to remove 22 maple trees lining the street that have been tangling with power lines.

The city would need a special license to remove the trees itself, Birkenthal said, and PSE plans to grind the stumps which would save the city an additional $5,000. The city and PSE will work together on what trees to plant as replacements.

The wood from the poplars will be given to the logger to offset the price. Birkenthal said if the city opted to keep the timber the $6,000 price tag would be doubled. However, the branches will remain with the city and be fed to a woodchipper and used for trails and mulch.

Who Will Speak For The Trees?

brem park.jpg

The Bremerton Parks Department is seeking input at a March 6 planning workshop to discuss the options for tree replacement at Evergreen Park near Park Avenue, a statement from the city said. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

Read the un-Binioned press release HERE.

For background on the plight of the park read Sun Reporter Chris Dunagan’s story HERE.

The meeting is to be held at the Norm Dicks Government Center, 4th floor, in the WSU Conference Room.

Voting Against the Marina By Turning Down Parks

The same post is running on the Kitsap Caucus blog.

If you are to believe those on the losing side of tax levies since last year, the tax the port passed is still affecting other tax measures. They brought it up when South Kitsap’s school bond failed. The library bond failed, the port became a question.

If tax boosters are right, residents didn’t get to vote on the port’s Industrial Development District tax to build the marina, so they’re voting against it now every chance they get.

Tonight, Bremerton City Councilman Will Maupin said the IDD tax not only affected Bremerton’s parks levy, it affected his own margin of victory. He’s winning his race with a 53-47 margin against former councilman Eric Younger.

“I guess it’s just that it’s just that there is always the feeling because of the unrest in property taxes and the port tax and the feeling that we need to make a change, that somebody else might be looking out for my well being or my property taxes more.”

You can draw attention to the fact that the other incumbent running in Bremerton, Dianne Robinson, won handily. But Robinson ran against a first-time candidate with no history on the council and a short history in the city. Maupin’s opponent, Eric Younger, does have experience on the dais and has stark differences with the incumbent.

Maupin might have a point on his own race, but that the port tax may have had an impact on Tuesday’s parks levy is easily more believable.

“I thought that when we first put that on the ballot that we had built up enough good will in the city that citizens were willing to invest some of their money in the Bremerton redevelopment. I think the port tax was an issue that didn’t die. It built up an unhappiness. I heard that over and over again as I was doorbelling and I think that’s what doomed our parks levy.”

The question then becomes how it will affect the city’s move to boost car tab fees to pay for roads. In pre-election debates all Bremerton council candidates said they favored putting a $20 boost in car tabs on the ballot. Maupin said Tuesday’s parks levy defeat will impact how the council moves forward with the street issue, but perhaps not substantially.

“It’s going to have some effect on our decision-making process, but I think the process is still what we planned all along. We’ll have a very vigorous public information campaign and see if we have support for $20 car tabs in order to support street repair.”

If all this is true and I’m running any government agency with an ability to ask voters for money, I’ve got to wonder if I would instead conspire to make do until the hangover from the port tax wears off, assuming people really are still voting against it.

If they are, when will it stop?