This winter the Kitsap Forest and Bay Campaign moved one step closer to protecting open space in Kitsap County forever. Almost half the acreage in the Port Gamble forest - 1,335 acres to be exact - were purchased this winter and designated permanent, protected parkland! A big thank you to all who helped make this happen!
However, our job is not done yet; acreage along the western ridge line remains subject to development. The Kitsap Forest and Bay Coalition has raised most of the $3.5 million needed to save it but has to raise the rest by the end of June - this year. A generous Bainbridge Island couple will match up to a $100,000 for all donations through June 15th! Please help preserve this amazing resource - make donations online at SavePG.org or by donating through NKTA on May 2nd at the Kitsap Great Give (see details below).
Kitsap County invites you to a community open house to learn about a feasibility study underway for a 6-7 mile shared-use trail connecting SR 104 in Port Gamble to Stottlemeyer Road NE. This shared-use trail is part of the Sound-to-Olympics Trail connecting the Hood Canal Bridge, Kingston, Poulsbo, and Bainbridge Island.
Port Gamble Trail Feasibility Study Open House
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Village Green Community Center
26159 Dulay Road NE Kingston, WA
Amy Sutton joined the NKTA board in February 2017. Amy has lived in Poulsbo for 19 years, working as a middle school language arts teacher. She has passed countless hours and countless miles on the trails, hiking with the dogs in her life, most currently with Finn, the yellow lab. She also rides the trails on her horse Bailey. Amy appreciates having public land that can be accessed and enjoyed by such a variety of users. She says, “I know how firsthand the value of being able to access this wilderness and all it has to offer. To me the land has been a gift and preserving it will make it a gift we can give to future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.” Amy is excited to do her part to help conserve the public land in North Kitsap.
We must act now to save a regional treasure and a forest for future generations. The Kitsap Forest and Bay Community Campaign is the final phase of a multi-year effort to secure the purchase of the Port Gamble Forest. We must raise $3.5 million to ensure the Port Gamble Forest will not be sold and developed. Learn more, and donate now at SavePG.org
Several months ago I wrote about NKTA's desire to find new board members. Two people have volunteered - Debbie Weinmann and Sandee Watson.
Sandee Watson joined the NKTA Board in October. She is a Washington native and has lived in Indianola for more than 20 years. As a regular user of the Heritage Park and Port Gamble trail systems, Sandee joined the board to contribute to its work toward preserving, growing and improving the community trail systems so they can be enjoyed by runners, hikers, birders, equestrians and cyclists for generations to come. Outside of NKTA Sandee works in Poulsbo as a professional liability insurance broker for architects and engineers.
A lot of trail maintenance and construction was done at North Kitsap Parks this year by NKTA and partner organizations. Grants by REI provided funds for much of the work.
In July the Evergreen Mountain Biking Alliance (EMBA), Great Peninsula Conservancy (GPC) and NKTA cleared brush, etc. from the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park's (PGFHP) Beaver Pond Trail and rerouted a portion of it to decrease the trails impact on beaver activity. The old route has been maintained for a while to serve as a pet free wildlife viewing area.
When Kitsap County purchased its Heritage Parks they had been planted in Douglas fir for use as lumber. The trees were spaced close together to ensure sufficient survival. The timber company would later thin the trees for optimum harvest. While the County isn't concerned with optimizing the timber that can be obtained, it does need to provide room and light under the trees in order to benefit wildlife and to provide room for native plants and trees to grow and create a more natural forest. The process of doing so is called "restorative thinning" and you may have seen this happening in the Heritage Parks.
We invite you to skip Black Friday shopping this year and join NKTA, REI and Forterra outside instead of hitting the stores. Visit one of Kitsap's many parks, or better yet, grab your friends and family for a guided Bird, Bike & Hikes in the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park led by Kitsap Audubon Society, Evergreen Mountain Biking Alliance and North Kitsap Trails Association and volunteers. Bring the WHOLE Family. There is something for everyone. Experience for yourself why we love this place - and why we are working hard to save it!
Much of NKTA's work involves promoting trails and obtaining grants to expand or improve them. It is a relief to get out and actually work on them. We are looking forward to several opportunities to do so this year, so get out your trails tools and be ready to go! REI grants will provide funding for the following projects in the Port Gamble Heritage Park this summer: