The popular Stottlemeyer 30/60 Mt. Bike race, put on by the Epic Series, wrapped up May 10th. 373 bikers from all over came out to complete the muddy and difficult 30 or 60 mile courses. This race is the season opener of a three race series and is billed as
"Technical single-track winding through forest, followed by fast gravel trails, Stottlemeyer is perfect to test you and your bike."
Proceeds from the Stottlemeyer 30/60 ride went to NKTA, and netted over $1800. Thank you to the participants, volunteers, and race organizers! Thanks especially to West Sound EMBA volunteers (Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance) volunteers who were out the day before, repairing the course and getting it ready for those hundreds of out of town visitors!
Also in Port Gamble sporting news, The Lumberjack 50/100 mile Endurance Run in April raised over $800 for NKTA, which provided match for our Great Give donations. The weather was right for both events and the trails were in great shape!
We would like to thank all our recent contributors and those who gave to NKTA through Kitsap Community Foundation's first Great Give May 6th. Thirty-five NKTA supporters donated $2105, which with Great Give matching funds added $2332 to what NKTA has for North Kitsap trail improvements. $425 came from 6 current members, $394 from 5 anonymous donors and $1,285 from 24 new contributors. We've got several efforts in the works, so whether new, old or anonymous, your contributions will help "Build Trails for Our Future".
The Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails is the first National Water Trail in our state! NKTA board member John Kuntz, Visit Kitsap (Patty Graf-Hoke) and Kitsap County teamed with the National Park Service to apply for "National Water Trail" status for Kitsap's water trail. Kitsap County has the second longest coastline in Washington State and is a favorite destination for experienced paddlers, but our region is also unique in the number of small sheltered bays that offer family friendly paddling and destinations suited to novice paddlers.
North Kitsap Trails Association is participating in the Kitsap Community Foundation's Kitsap Great Give on May 6th. What does this mean to you? It's an opportunity to help fund more NKTA's initiatives to improve hiking, running, biking and equestrian trails in north Kitsap. Last year NKTA's efforts included construction of "Millie's Trail" connecting Big Valley Road to the OPG Port Gamble Property, elimination of wet areas on North Kitsap Heritage Park trails, beginning work towards creating a trail connection to link the Divide w/ Port Gamble block, and liaising with County officials and other interested organizations to coordinate and improve trail access. Donations made on May 6th for the Great Give will go further with incentive pools and prizes toward more improvement in the future. For example, $100 donated by you on that day could become $115 to $140. This year $800 from the Lumberjack Endurance Run will be donate towards the match for NKTA. If you give to NKTA on May 6, all these generous sponsors will pile on behind you and help us out even more. It's easy, it's online and it helps the trails a LOT! If making a donation is not for you, May 6th would be a great time to renew your NKTA membership. So, please mark May 6th on your calendar and stay posted on Facebook, our website and twitter to learn more as our Kitsap Great Give campaign continues. You'll be able to donate May 6th at this website: http://kitsapgreatgive.org/
NKTA hosted a series of three collaborative workshops to create a "Conceptual Site Plan for the Port Gamble Trails". Many thanks to architect Charlie Wenzlau for facilitating all three workshops, and to Jeff Bauma, Sean Parker, Doug Maraist, and Larry Matel, for volunteering their professional expertise!
Representatives from multiple organizations were invited to share their goals, dreams and concerns, and help create a vision for the Port Gamble trails. 35 people representing 17 organizations helped with this effort.
It was great to learn how few conflicts there are between the user groups. We came up with a preferred route for the Sound to Olympics Trail and a mountain bike "Ride Park" on the ridge near Babcock Hill, prioritized designated parking for horse trailers at Stottelmeyer, found locations for handicap accessible trails and parking, recommend trail loops from every trail head and prioritized a birding loop by the Beaver Pond wetlands. We also think there are great opportunities for an accessible path and passive recreation and birding, along the shoreline bluff. It was great to hear from Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA) representatives that they're eager to re-route part of the Beaver Pond trail further from the wetlands, but we're all waiting to follow the County lead for trails on the new Shoreline Park.
Thanks especially to Commissioner Rob Gelder, Jon Rose (President of Olympic Property Group) and the great staff at Kitsap County Parks dept. for joining us.
Organized by the Kitsap Community Foundation, this is an opportunity to leverage your donation to NKTA by increasing it with a match from both the Great Give sponsors, and increasing it again with a match from the organizers of this year's Lumberjack Endurance Run. If you give to NKTA on May 6, all these generous sponsors will pile on behind you and help us out even more. It's easy, it's online and it helps the trails a LOT! Look for more details in our next newsletter.
The first of the Kitsap Forest and Bay land acquisitions closed on February 12 and our County is the proud owner of 535 acres of forestland and 1.5 miles of Port Gamble shoreline, extending 1/2 mile across the highway and protected for the public FOREVER! But this is just the beginning - the first phase and 535 acre milestone of our visionary 6,700 acre Kitsap Forest & Bay conservation Project!
"This acquisition has been years in the making and is the beginning of a series of great things to come in 2014. We are lining up funding to protect additional lands from Kingston to Port Gamble as part of this preservation effort."
Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder
AND yes, NKTA and many of you were a big part of this success, both with the years of community effort and in the last minute crowd funding campaign.
"This purchase is a prize that has been earned through nearly a decade of dedicated efforts by the local community."
Jon Rose, President, Olympic Property Group (Pope Resources)
"The many community partners involved in the Kitsap Forest & Bay Coalition have dedicated countless hours to help achieve this historic land purchase - handing out trail maps, speaking to community groups and marching in parades, and when it came down to the wire, the Coalition raised over $10,000 in three days to fill the final funding gap."
Great Peninsula Conservancy and Coalition Chair
In just 48 hours, our community exceeded the goal for online donations. Through the support of Poulsbo Marathon organizers, NKTA contributed $2,500, and a generous donation from the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe put the project over the top. Thanks to Forterra, Great Peninsula Conservancy and Kitsap County for their tireless work, and for obtaining the grants through the WA state WWRP grant program, WA DOE, and the National Coastal Wetlands Program which made this possible.
With that accomplished, we'll continue right on working to purchase the land and trails in the Port Gamble Forest, North Kitsap Heritage Park Expansion, Divide Forest, and Hansville Forest. We still have over 6,000 more acres to save.
Great news for outdoor enthusiasts! The coalition known as the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trail Alliance recently received a National Park Service grant for the development and management program for the water trail . It's no secret that the Kitsap peninsula is surrounded by water, 371 miles of shoreline to be exact!
According to Dennis Oost, Kitsap's Trail Planner, the nine month grant provides technical expertise to develop a sustainable water trails management program that is consistent across jurisdictions. Sue Abbott from the National Park service helped NKTA with the NK String of Pearls Trail Plan and brings her expertise to Kitsap efforts again!
The Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails attracts recreation users from around the U.S. and provides significant economic benefit to Kitsap County. Patricia Graf-Hoke, Executive Director of Visit Kitsap Peninsula, and John Kuntz, owner of Olympic Outdoor Center, NKTA board member and creator of the water trail vision, are co-partners with Kitsap County on the water trails management program. They founded the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails Alliance which includes representatives from local municipalities, tribes, government agencies, associations and business that will provide input on the project.
The Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails has applied to have the water trails designated part of the National Park Water Trails system. The Kitsap Peninsula Water Trail was recently added to the Washington State Water Trails and is now part of the 2000 mile Cascadia Marine Trail. Obtaining National Park Water Trails designation, would make the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails the second largest National Park Water Trail in the United States and second water trail west of the Mississippi. This could help increase the visibility and popularity of our region as a water trails tourism destination and help local businesses.
NKTA is part of a dedicated coalition of partners working on a visionary effort, the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project, to conserve 6,700 acres of forestland and 1.5 miles of shoreline surrounding Port Gamble Bay. The community has a tremendous opportunity to conserve the land for all time, preserving the rich ecosystems and the recreational appeal of its trails.
We've raised nearly $4.6 million to purchase the first 535 acres of forest and beach on Port Gamble Bay. Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe has generously pledged a significant amount of money to this purchase.
At 535 acres, the Shoreline property contains extensive forestland, wetlands, 1.5 miles of Port Gamble Bay's untrammeled shoreline and extends a half mile inland to include popular trails. This remarkable property will be protected forever as a saltwater park - owned and maintained by Kitsap County. Protected for all time, the park will provide a place for families to explore on foot, bike or kayak. YOUR help is needed TODAY to raise $8,000 by February 3!
Due to Kitsap Forest & Bay Project's immense size, the coalition is tackling land acquisition in five blocks/phases. With your help, we will complete the first phase of the project with the conservation of the Port Gamble Bay Shoreline block. When that's accomplished, we'll continue right on to purchase the land and trails in the Port Gamble Forest, North Kitsap Heritage Park Expansion, Divide Forest and Hansville Forest.
We need YOUR help to raise $8,000 by February 3! Any funds raised beyond our immediate need for the shoreline will help purchase additional land in the Port Gamble forest.
Saving our SPECIAL places: Port Gamble Bay has been at the cultural heart of local tribes for eons -enriching tribal traditions that continue to this day. Port Gamble Bay's forests and bay draw thousands of outdoor recreationists annually - strengthening the local economy and promoting healthy lifestyles. Port Gamble Bay supports fish and wildlife that are critical to a healthy Puget Sound.
Why YOU can make a difference: Just $8,000 separates us from the reality of conserving 535 acres and 1.5 miles of Port Gamble Bay shoreline forever! By helping us raise just $8,000, you can be part of conserving not just this beautiful piece of the world, but also all the wonderful outdoor fun it supports. Please make your donation today!
Kitsap Forest & Bay Coalition: Our dedicated coalition represents an unprecedented partnership between state, local, tribal, environmental, and recreational organizations including: Kitsap County, Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, Suquamish Tribe, Forterra, Great Peninsula Conservancy, Kitsap Audubon Society, North Kitsap Trails Association, Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, Visit Kitsap Peninsula, local and state agencies, and community members. We have been working for years to secure a vibrant future for these 6,700 acres on the Kitsap Peninsula.