NKTA is an all volunteer organization. We know that there are many of you trail users and trail lovers out there and this article is our call out to you to get involved. The busy light-filled months are upon us and we have various events that we need volunteers for. If you have been mulling the idea about and pushing it to the back burner: there is no time like the present to jump in.
Come visit our newest trail in North Kitsap Heritage Park. The boardwalk on the Boundary (blue) Trail reroute has been finished and is open. The six-foot wide 60 foot long span across a tributary of Grovers Creek is suitable for walkers, hikers and bikers. This new route at the north end of the Boundary Trail replaces the slippery section of trail down the clay hill and across the wide wet meadow. The old trail has been abandoned and will be restored with native plants.
From the entry kiosk at Miller Bay Rd. follow the Spine Line (yellow) trail 260 feet to signpost #2 and cross the boardwalk to the new trail. This new section of the trail climbs 0.2 mile to join the old upper Boundary trail at the top of the hill.
The Stewardship Group and North Kitsap Trails Association want to thank Aspect Consulting of Seattle and Bainbridge Island for their work on and contributions to the trail and boardwalk. The boardwalk was funded by grants for Puget Sound Energy, the Suquamish Tribe and Kingston Rotary.
- Good News for KFBP -
Forterra has "exercised" the Option from OPG on the full 6,690 acres, so there is now another year (through 3/28/2014) to complete what land purchases are possible. Though we won't know a final outcome until the end of the Legislative session, at this point there is close to $3 million for Kitsap Forest & Bay Project acquisitions in the three different versions of the state budget. $2.25 million for the Port Gamble Shoreline, $392,000 for North Kitsap Heritage Park Expansion and varying amounts for the Divide property (between NK Heritage Park and Port Gamble-Suquamish road). The outcome for acquiring the Divide/Grovers Creek project (pictured above) isn't as secure. The House budget has the project receiving $1 million but the Senate proposed less overall funding for WWRP programs and currently has $297,000 in their budget for this project. But it is fair to say the Senate budget proposal for WWRP programs is in flux and we won't know the outcome until a budget is finalized.
We are fortunate that our Kitsap delegation members are all strong supporters of Kitsap Forest & Bay Project. Please take the time to thank Senator Christine Rolfes, Representative Drew Hansen and Representative Sherry Appleton.
- New Trail Signs installed on Port Gamble Trails -
If you've been out on the Port Gamble trails recently, you may have seen the 16 new trail signs that Pope Resources allowed us to install on their property. Special thanks to John Hawkins of Northwest Trail Riders, who designed the map and built the posts, the Schorns and other NKTA volunteers, Back Country Horsemen who shared in the costs, and of course to Pope Resources for letting trail users enjoy their land. The trail map is in the Kitsap Forest and Bay brochure at all the trailheads, the trail kiosks in Port Gamble and the map section on our website.
- Lumberjack Endurance runners endure near freezing temps -
Some forty six dedicated runners woke early on Saturday, April 13th to go on a 'trail run'. Some of them wouldn’t be done until Sunday afternoon! The 4th annual Lumberjack Endurance Run took place in Port Gamble despite cold rain, wind and a bit of hail. Runners would test their mental and physical stamina by running 50, 62 or 100 miles. That’s 19+ hours of straight running! Ultra running is anything beyond a 26.2 mile marathon, and it’s a growing sport. Still, the Lumberjack Endurance Run is one of only five such races in Washington state, which is why race organizers (the Straubs and Hammetts) started it four years ago. Participants traveled from Alberta, British Columbia, Oregon, California and Eastern Washington to run. The course was a looping 12.5 miles across the Pope owned tree farm land, which runners did 4, 6 or 8 times. There were three aid stations which demanded a full volunteer support crew for most of the weekend. Part of the proceeds from this years' race will go to NKTA, who provided several hardy volunteers.
- Kitsap Forest & Bay Project Update -
Some Good News And Challenges Being Made Clear
KFBP is the effort by a large coalition to conserve close to 7,000 acres of land and 1.8 miles of shoreline stretching from Port Gamble to Kingston. There is six months left before the 2013 deadline.
The Washington Dept. of Transportation is constructing safety improvements for cyclists on the Hood Canal Bridge. This is a bicycle safety project that Senator Christine Rolfes championed for several years, to improve this vital regional bicycle link. This route is the connection between NKTA's planned Sound to Olympics Trail and the Olympic Discovery Trail in Clallam and Jefferson Counties. Cyclists will want to be aware that there is no shoulder on either side in the work zone. The 3 foot wide metal plates on the grated sections of the bridge are being removed and elastomeric concrete poured to fill the grating--providing a 4 1/2 foot wide riding surface. This is a significant improvement over the existing condition.
The North Kitsap Trails Association, West Sound Cycle Club, Pt. Townsend Bicycle Association, and Squeaky Wheels leaders worked in concert through the Bicycle Alliance of Washington with Washington State Department of Transportation managers to find an optimum solution for safety hazards on the bridge. More Info
- Kitsap Water Trail gets National Press! -
The National Park Service chose Kitsap's Water Trail as Trail of the Month in a national newsletter, saying: "This Pacific Northwest water trail gives boaters access to some spectacular marine life and environments, scenic natural beauty, and historic port towns. The trail was formally dedicated at an annual tourism paddle event this summer following release of a trails map showing routes and access points to the county's nearly 300 miles of shoreline. The National Park Service worked with the North Kitsap Trails Association to develop a trails plan that was approved by the County Commissioners in late 2011. Grab your paddle and hit the trail!"
- Great Progress Building BI Waypoint Park -
The new Bainbridge Island Waypoint Park (on the SW corner of Winslow Way and SR 305) has shown highly visible progress in recent weeks. Most of the concrete work is done. Bainbridge Parks staff and volunteers, including garden writer Ann Lovejoy, have been delivering and installing primarily native plants.