Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park
Stay Involved in the Master Plan
The creation of a Master Plan for PGFHP requires a balance between the competing objective of restoration and protection of natural areas, land management for public access and recreation, and relevant economic benefits and tradeoffs. The 3rd Public Meeting for the Plan in September presented high, medium, and low alternatives for development. The consultant's website http://portgambleforestpark.com/ provides a wealth of information about the park, the planning process, and the development alternatives. A 4th public meeting in January will present the consultant's recommended development level. Between now and then you can provide your imput by logging on to their website and clicking on "Take our Questionnaire" at the top of the page.
North STO Feasibility Study
In the last newsletter we reported that the County had received a grant to fund a feasibility study of the STO route between Kingston and the Stottlemeyer Road connection into Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park. The Public Works Department has now published an RFP (request for proposals) for a planning and engineering study to select a preferred route for that STO segment along with the paved, shared use path’s estimated cost. STO progress continues!
*** New Board Members Needed ***
NKTA fulfills several functions in carrying out it’s mission to improve non-motorized transportation in Kitsap County. Our most visible role is to plan and organize trail improvement projects. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Our most important functions entail advocating for regional non-motorized transportation routes like the Sound to Olympics Trail. Examples include liaising with like-minded organizations like the Heritage Park stewards and monitoring local government agencies to ensure that they include non-motorized transportation in their long-range plans.
Only 9 or NKTA’s 14 board positions are currently filled to accomplish these tasks. If you have an interest in promoting trails in our community, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to a board member. The main requirements are a love of trails and a willingness to help expand them throughout North Kitsap.
Port Gamble Forest
Heritage Park Logging
You will see logging in areas of the PGFHP marked in red; please stay off closed trails
during that operation.
New Sakai Connector Trail
The City of Bainbridge Island and BI Parks Foundation hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 3 to mark the official opening of the Sakai Connector Trail. Starting at the intersection of SR 305 and High School Road it provide another 500 feet to the Sound to Olympics Trail along
with a connection to Sakai Park. A 3 minute video of the opening ceremony can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=papCvKFO6CA.
Hwy 305 Johnson Road Roundabout Tunnel
The City of Poulsbo has started construction of a roundabout for the intersection of Johnson Parkway and SR 305. While intended as a traffic improvement project, it will also provide a piece of the Sound to Olympics Trail by creating a tunnel under SR 305 for pedestrians and cyclist to cross that busy highway.
Public Facilities District Grant
Last fall the Kitap Public Facilities District awarded $1,697,556 to Kitsap County for Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Projects: development of a comprehensive Park master plan, construction a mountain bike ride park, design and permitting of the Sound to Olympics Trail and installing parking, bathrooms and other amenities. Work is progressing despite the Covid-19 quarantines.
Kitsap County partnered with the Leafline Trails Coalition, in partnership with King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and other trail advocates, to connect nearly 450 miles of trails throughout the central Puget Sound region, including the Sound to Olympic Trail. Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder said that. “Being a part of the Leafline Trails Coalition is a fantastic opportunity to partner with neighboring counties to expand awareness of non-motorized commuter routes, improve public health and increase accessibility to our natural resources.”
An STO Construction Grant
Earlier steps in developing the Sound to Olympics trail are start to show results. In 2018 the County completed a feasibility study for the STO route through the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park and last fall the Public Facilities District grant provided some funding for STO design work. With that foundation in place Kitsap County recently
obtained a nearly $2 million in federal grant towards construction of a northern portion of that trail within the Park. Design and permitting is expected to get underway in 2022.
REI Grant for Trails
REI has provided us with a $7,500 grant for trail improvements. Projects will include completing the trail overlooking Gamble Bay and adding safety railing, benches and a sign commemorating the area's history. Also included is work on upland trails in the Port Gamble Heritage Park and signage along the intended Sound to Olympic Trail route.