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Saturday, December 6, 2014

More on NK Park expansion

Reprinted from the Forterra site:

900 Acres of Trails and Habitat Permanently Protected

Momentum grows for Kitsap forest effort
Dec. 5, 2014

Today North Kitsap Heritage Park has nearly doubled in size thanks to a 366-acre purchase by Kitsap County. Following on the heels of the County’s February purchase of 535 acres and 1.5 miles of forested shoreline on Port Gamble Bay, the Park’s expansion is another step in the Kitsap Forest and Bay Project, a community-driven initiative to conserve as much as 6,700 acres in North Kitsap Peninsula.

The purchase sets the stage for current philanthropic efforts to buy a pristine bog and stretch of Grover’s Creek and builds momentum to conserve 3,000 acres harboring a dense network of trails south of Port Gamble—an endeavor championed by hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers.

“As an avid mountain biker, I enthusiastically support the growing momentum for conserving great habitat lands and a terrific trail network. As a resident of Kitsap County and as an executive in the outdoor industry, I applaud the County’s effort in recognizing the positive economic impact that a great trail network can bring to a community,” said Outdoor Research President Ken Meidell. “Outdoor recreation is a big economic driver in Washington state and these recreational assets are the infrastructure that drives the businesses that support the users of these lands.”

Kitsap’s forest lands, marketed as “Seattle’s backyard,” are enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts from across the Puget Sound region.

Otherwise at risk of conversion into sprawling residential development, the Heritage Park expansion will provide a critical link in the County’s popular regional trail system known as the “String of Pearls.” Its conservation will help protect the local community’s drinking water, wildlife habitat and the headwaters of two priority salmon-bearing streams, Grover’s Creek and Carpenter Creek.

“Expansion of North Kitsap Heritage Park has been a community goal for a decade,” said Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder. “This is a critical step in protecting the forested character of North Kitsap and the incredible trail network that defines our community.”

More than 5 million dollars has been invested in the North Kitsap Peninsula so far from national, state, private and local funding sources. The Heritage Park expansion is one of the first in the nation to be awarded a grant from the U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest Program. In addition to this federal funding source, Kitsap County utilized funds from the sale of its Place of the Bear property along with grants from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program and Salmon Recovery Funding Board to expand the Park. An additional 7 million dollars are pending for future acquisitions within the larger Kitsap Forest and Bay Project.

“This is a cultural sustainability and economic development story as much as it is a conservation story,” noted Michelle Connor, executive vice president of Forterra. “That’s what has led to the resounding financial support from all quarters for the purchase of these forest lands.”

Forterra partnered with Kitsap County on the acquisition of the North Kitsap Heritage Park expansion since signing a purchase option agreement with the landowner Pope Resources in 2011, giving the Kitsap Forest and Bay partners time to raise funds and complete the due diligence necessary to move toward successful conservation. Forterra has supported the Project on a strategic level as well through project partner coordination, grant writing and engaging elected leadership at the state and federal level.

Olympic Property Group (OPG), a subsidiary of Pope Resources, has managed the property as timberland for decades. OPG has historically allowed public access on this property which generated an enthusiastic group of volunteers who maintain a vast trail network.

“This project has been 10 years in the making,” said Jon Rose, OPG president. “It is through the persistence and resolve of Kitsap County partners that we have been able to make such headway and why as a landowner we’ve been willing to stick with the conservation effort for the long haul.”

The Kitsap Forest and Bay Project is an effort by Kitsap County, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, the Suquamish Tribe, Forterra, Great Peninsula Conservancy, Pope Resources and many community partners to conserve 6,700 acres of forest and shoreline owned by Pope Resources around Port Gamble Bay on the western shore of Washington’s Puget Sound.
   
Photos of North Heritage Park by Scott Pascoe and Don Willott. Click to enlarge.

North Kitsap Heritage Park expands.


From NKTA:


Hurrah! North Kitsap Heritage Park Expands!

Friday Dec. 5, North Kitsap Heritage Park nearly doubled in size thanks to a 366-acre purchase by Kitsap County. "Expansion of North Kitsap Heritage Park has been a community goal for a decade," said Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder. "This is a critical step in protecting the forested character of North Kitsap and the incredible trail network that defines our community." Following on the heels of the County's February purchase of 535 acres and 1.5 miles of forested shoreline on Port Gamble Bay, the Park's expansion is another step in the Kitsap Forest and Bay Project, a community-driven initiative to conserve as much as 6,700 acres in North Kitsap Peninsula.
NKHPThe expansion of the North Kitsap Heritage Park (NKHP) has long been a goal of NKTA and the North Kitsap Heritage Park Stewardship group--this victory is close to the heart for many of us! NKTA extends our heartfelt thanks to Kitsap County and all of those who worked so hard to make this happen. We also offer congratulations and appreciation to NKHP Stewardship Group volunteers who have given so many hours to this park, for all of us to enjoy. (And extra-special thanks to Carolina Veenstra and Dave Haley, volunteers extraordinaire!)
The NKHP Stewardship Group formed in 2009 with the goal to develop trails in the 448 acre park and open it to public access. That goal was achieved in January, 2010. Under the group's steady stewardship the park has expanded parking and added a kiosk, picnic area, signage throughout the park, and most recently a mural. The group plans to bring similar enhancements and new trails to the expansion property. The park is now over 800 acres, and the nearly 2 miles of existing trails in the expansion property bring the total to 8.6 miles of trails in the park.
NKHPAcquisition of the expansion property allows plans to go forward for regional and cross-county trails through the park. The trail connecting Kingston and Indianola can be improved, and the Sound to Olympics (STO) Trail through the park connecting Kingston to the Hood Canal Bridge is closer to a reality. The STO is a key part of a cross-state trail planned in the North Kitsap Trails Association's North Kitsap String of Pearls Trail Plan adopted by Kitsap County in 2011.
"This project has been 10 years in the making. It is through the persistence and resolve of Kitsap County partners that we have been able to make such headway and why as a landowner we've been willing to stick with the conservation effort for the long haul." Jon Rose, OPG president.
NKHP
"Outdoor recreation is a big economic driver in Washington state. As a resident of Kitsap County and as an executive in the outdoor industry, I applaud the County's effort in recognizing the positive economic impact that a great trail network can bring to a community," said Outdoor Research President Ken Meidell.
The purchase sets the stage for current efforts to buy a pristine bog and stretch of Grover's Creek (directly across Miller Bay Road from the park) and builds momentum to conserve 3,000 acres south of Port Gamble - an endeavor championed by hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers and NKTA

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kitsap Racing team jersey fit and order party Nov 17 & 19



            
Monday, November 19 at 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Wednesday, November 19 at 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Valholl Brewery
20186 Front St NE, Poulsbo, Washington 98370

Come to the Kitsap Racing Team Jersey Fit and Order Party at Valhöll Brewing and see what it’s all about!

Already part of the Kitsap Racing team?

Looking to get associated with a fun team that participates in mountain bike races across Washington but don’t know where to start?

New to mountain biking and want to see what it is all about?

Want a team to hangout with at mountain bike events, that is from Kitsap County?

We got you covered on all of these.

Why you should come:

• Better Pricing!!! If you order through the team store, on the JLVelo website, within 2 weeks of the fitting party, you will get better pricing due to the group rate that we will receive. After the team store closes, the prices will go up.

• We will have different sizes, for Men and Women cuts, for traditional bike jerseys in JLVelo’s Team Strip and Team Stretch lines.

• We will also have different sizes in shorts and bibs to try on.

• We will be offering downhill/all-mountain MTB jerseys, to try on, for you enduro/DH folks!

Fitting will be from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Valhöll Brewing Tasting Room in Poulsbo. Try on a kit, see what size feels and looks best, touch the material, etc., and see what you like the most.

The first 20 people to come to the fitting party, and sign-up for the team, will receive one (1) free beverage (Valhöll beer options for adults and Root Beer for anyone under 21, or who doesn’t want a Valhöll beer.)

You will not receive your jersey at this time. This is for order placement ONLY. Team store, and order acceptance, will be closed at midnight on 12/3/2014. Orders will be scheduled to ship within 4-6 weeks of that date. Just in time for the first race of the season in February!

If you are unable to make this event, then please reach out to Nathan Thayer, through Facebook, or via e-mail at kitsapracing@gmail.com, and you will be provided the website address for the team store.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Grants for Port Gamble

One of 3 Port Gamble Trails grants ranked for funding

Kitsap County applied for three grants to acquire land for Port Gamble Trails this year. Work began in March and final presentations were made in August. NKTA and volunteers worked hard to help. Thanks again to Kitsap Commissioners Gelder, Streissguth and Garrido, and to Pope Resources who gave us this opportunity.
Our community rallied to help, giving us 26 letters of support! For the final presentations, community members from NKTA, EMBA West Sound, Kitsap Audubon, Kitsap Forest and Bay and the County Parks Board, all traveled to Olympia to show support. But the prize goes our local high school mountain bike teams and coach; seven dedicated teen mountain cyclists, representing EMBA West Sound, met us at 6:30 a.m. to travel to Olympia! Wow, impressive!!
The grant process is highly competitive, one category had 72 projects competing for funding. Recreation and trails projects are especially tough to find grants for--there is simply more money to preserve sensitive habitat; shorelines, riparian corridors and salmon habitat. Projects have now been ranked, and unfortunately just one of our three grants was ranked high enough to expect funding. The Sound to Olympics Trail grant was ranked #1 in the state for both community support and threat (potential of losing the project, if unfunded), but ranked behind two huge projects (together requesting $6 million). We'll know the final outcome mid 2015, after the state budget is approved.
The grant that is ranked the most favorably (area in red on the map), is $500,000 to buy land for a 200 acre Mountain Bike Ride Park. A "Ride Park" is similar to ski runs, with bike runs designed for beginning, intermediate and advanced level riders. Our partners, West Sound Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance plan to invest lots of volunteer hours to turn that dream into reality. Providing the right location for the most active recreation, (further away from sensitive areas) is a goal that many of our partners support. There is also an extra challenge; the federal grant we hoped to provide the required 50% match ($500,000), is unlikely to be funded.
About 3/4 of the Port Gamble trails and land still have no identified funding source. With 534 acres of shoreline park, the County owns about 14% of the 3850 acres. With favorable ranking to buy half of a 200 acre Ride Park, and the expectation of $770K from DOE for land, the County still lacks funds for over 3/4 of the Port Gamble land. The next opportunity to apply for state grants is 2016.

Sound to Olympics Trail Design Meeting

Nov. 12* , Wed. 7 p.m. Final Sound to Olympics Trail design meeting
On Wednesday, Nov. 12 7 p.m. at Bainbridge City Hall, help finalize the design for Phase II of the Sound to Olympics Trail. This is the last of three community meetings to determine the design of the S.T.O. between Winslow Way and High School Road along SR 305.
* Date subject to change: more info

Friday, October 10, 2014

REI/GPC Stewardship Day


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REI / GPC Stewardship Day
Port Gamble Shoreline Park – Nov 1

Plant trees at Kitsap County’s newest park.  Go home with a Get Dirty T-shirt.  Join other rock star volunteers at the new Port Gamble Shoreline Park.  We’ll start the day by removing invasive plants, and then plant the red cedar saplings that will one day shade this beautiful park.  You’ll be entered to win a great prize from REI!

Port Gamble Shoreline Park is the first land purchased through the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project’s effort to conserve nearly 7,000 acres of forestland surrounding Port Gamble Bay.  The park includes 1.5 miles of shoreline and more than 500 acres of forest for hiking, cycling, running, horseback riding, and birding.

Bring your gloves, shovels, clippers and sturdy shoes.  Enjoy the shoreline, the views, some great snacks and the company of other fabulous volunteers!  9 am – 2 pm  Details and directions  
RSVP: kate@greatpeninsula.org or (360) 373-3500

Kate Kuhlman
Operations Director
Great Peninsula Conservancy
423 Pacific Ave, Suite 401
Bremerton, WA 98337
(360) 373-3500
cell (360) 981-8691

New Port Gamble Map

New maps for the Port Gamble trails!

Port Gamble Shoeline ParkCheck out the location of Kitsap County's new Port Gamble Shoreline Park on the new maps. For a larger map, click the image.
New maps are installed on the trails and at trailheads, and are in the brochures at the trail heads. The new 534 acre park has 1.5 miles of shoreline (not very accessible yet) and can be accessed from the Bay View trailhead, about a mile south of Port Gamble on highway 104. There are no trails or parking lots on the water side of the road so please be considerate of the neighbors and don't head down their driveways. So 534 acres saved! The next challenge is the remaining 3316 acres!