Letters to the Editor

Preserves, not parks

To the editor:

There is a difference between a “park” and a “preserve.” That difference has been ignored by the Bainbridge Island Metro Parks and Recreation District and BI Land Trust regarding Gazzam Lake Preserve.

BI parks says Gazzam Lake Nature, Moritani, Ted Olson Nature and West Port Madison Nature are preserves. But the rules for each fail to address the distinction between a park and a preserve, so the public treats all “parks” the same. They are not.

A preserve exists for natural wildlife, not human recreation. Activities that are permissible in a park are not necessarily permissible in a preserve. In the case of Gazzam, electric bikes, off-leash dogs, geocaching, and off-trail exploration are taboo. They are in violation of the conservation easement under which the property was purchased. Other “parks” on BI are for those purposes.

The BILT has likewise failed to enforce the conservation agreement with BIPRD to protect Gazzam as a preserve. Both BIPRD and BILT have taken the easy way out by turning a blind eye to the issue and failed to acknowledge and enforce the requirements set forth in the conservation easement stipulated at the time of purchase of the Gazzam property.

I would hope that both BILT and BIPRD would respect, uphold and enforce the conservation agreement under which Gazzam was purchased rather than ignore the issue and treat the Ppreserve as just another Park. It isn’t.

Jamie Acker

Bainbridge Island

What happened to Winslow?

Back in the day Winslow had a bowling alley, a video store, a laundromat, an office supply store, hardware store, furniture store and appliance store. Winslow was much more than a tourist town. Shopping local was a mantra. We had a girls’ night out to support our shops. It was our town. We had a sense of place.

Way back in the day zoning ensured chain stores would not come to Winslow. Thus, locals become entrepreneurs, owned stores and enlivened the town.

Now Winslow feels like a sale’s prop for cruise ships. Reservations needed. And our shopping is on Amazon or in Silverdale. If the point is social isolation and to enrich Amazon then go ahead add long blocks of residential without mix-use.

But consider people work at home and need a place to socialize. This is exactly the kind of mix-use that created Winslow: Small locally owned shops. What’s more Jane Jacobs, author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” noticed communities are strong and healthy when they have “eyes on the streets.”

That is shops and shop owners who care about the community. Pedestrians need wide sidewalks to exercise, and they need fun destinations.

Highly functioning, historic communities are rare. Look at what happened to Ballard. They lost so much. Let it not happen here.

Mary Ann Proctor

Bainbridge Island

Maintain preserves

To the editor:

The Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District has three nature preserves compared to 13 recreation areas, 22 trails and 23 parks.

The district and the BI Land Trust should continue to maintain the three Nature Preserves in their natural state for the preservation of the animals and plants that live there.

To do that would require not expanding human encroachment into any more of the natural areas — not even for a trail.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, a nature preserve is an area where animals and plants are protected and that has few buildings or homes.

Doug Rauh

Bainbridge Island