This project provides the initial section of the Sound to Olympics Trail, safer on-road bike facilities, as well as wider & more accessible pedestrian walkways between the tollbooths at the Bainbridge WSF terminal and Winslow Way. It will integrate with the recently completed Winslow Way Reconstruction and Waypoint Park, and the new promenade and protected bike lanes being developed along the Seattle Waterfront. In addition to making this section of SR 305 safer for the large and growing number of bicycle commuters, it will enable families with children to travel by bicycles to attractive destinations on Bainbridge and in Seattle, such as Myrtle Edwards Park.
Participants will be able to review and comment on their preferences for three design options developed by consultants for the City. The City's Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee and City Staff will use this feedback to produce a final design, which will be constructed in 2015. The North Kitsap Trails Association and Squeaky Wheels have been key partners in preparing this grant and facilitating development of design alternatives.
In April, we had a large turnout to celebrate the first acquisition of the Kitsap Forest and Bay Project. It was a wonderful event and a great opportunity to both celebrate and thank all the people who helped make this happen. Forterra made a great video and in just a few minutes of your time, you can hear what all of your local elected officials, Forterra, the Great Peninsula Conservancy and Tribal leadership have to say about the project.
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 goals online.
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.