Kitsap County applies for 3 Port Gamble Trails grants
NKTA is working closely with Kitsap County and County staff to help with three applications for state and federal grants to acquire Port Gamble land for trails. This spring 35 community members from 17 organizations helped create the Conceptual Site Plan for Port Gamble Trails in a series of three workshops. Thanks to all of those who participated and our professional volunteers (Wenzlau Architects, Fischer-Bauma , Sean Parker & Doug Maraist) ! You can find the "Conceptual Plan" and the accompanying goalsonline.
Kitsap County is already using that work to seek grant funds. One of the grants is focused on acquiring the Sound to Olympics Trail corridor and the other two are to buy land on the Babcock ridge for a 200 acre Mountain Bike Ride Park. Our partners, West Sound Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA) 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. Our community rallied around this grant effort and we were able to get 26 letters of support, including Washington Bikes, Congressman Kilmer, Senator Rolfes, Representatives Hansen and Appleton, Visit Kitsap, Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, Kitsap Audubon, Kitsap Public Health district, all our local bike organizations and partners in Poulsbo, Kingston, Suquamish, Bainbridge and the non-profit community.
Special thanks to Kitsap County and the land owner, Pope Resources who have given us this next opportunity. County Commissioners Gelder, Streissguth and Garrido, plus Parks Director Dunwiddie all supported the grant effort and put their stellar staff to work on the project. The grants have been submitted, presentations will happen in August and the projects will be ranked this fall. We won't know the final outcome until mid 2015, after the state budget is approved. Read Commissioner Gelder's article on the Ride Park projects.It's important to remember, even if all 3 grants succeed, we still have a LONG way to go. The great majority of the Port Gamble trails and land still have no identified funding source. With 534 acres of the shoreline in County ownership, the County now owns about 14% of the Port Gamble land and trails. If we are successful with all three of these next grants, we'll have secured trail access to just under 30% of the Port Gamble trail network.