Clear Creek Trail gets new boardwalk thanks to $43,000 grant

The Clear Creek Trail is getting new amenities thanks to a whopping $43,000 grant from the C. Keith Birkenfeld Memorial Trust.

Task Force to build bridge with same Birkenfeld grant money.

The Clear Creek Trail is getting new amenities thanks to a whopping $43,000 grant from the C. Keith Birkenfeld Memorial Trust.

“This is the largest private fundraising grant we’ve ever received,” Clear Creek Task Force Chair Tex Lewis said.

The grant will cover materials and supplies for nearly 600 feet of boardwalk and a 40-foot wooden bridge. The Great Peninsula Conservancy received the grant for the Clear Creek Trail projects.

Volunteers built a wooden boardwalk around the north side of the storm water retention ponds north of All Star Lanes in Silverdale. It includes a midpoint viewing deck, picnic table and benches and links the nearby portion of the Silverdale Way sidewalk with the existing forest and stream trails.

Kitsap County Juvenile Department’s Alternatives to Detention participants will install railing on the boardwalk Sunday, completing the two-month project.

“The boardwalk, I think, is something that’s going to be a real nice addition to the trail,” Lewis said. “We’re really excited about it.”

Aside from the Alternatives to Detention participants, Starbucks employees and people from the YMCA summer youth employment program have worked on the boardwalk.

“It’s really great working with the Starbucks people because the corporation kicks in some money to the cause,” Lewis said. “It’s nice working with the people, but it’s a great corporate response too.”

The 40-foot wooden bridge will be built across a tributary of Clear Creek at the former Schold Farm meadows near the Trigger Avenue exit on State Highway 3.

The Clear Creek Task Force teamed up with Olympic College’s Engineers Without Borders student organization to design, permit and construct the new bridge. Lewis, a civil engineer himself, involved with the local chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and heard about the student organization through them.

The bridge will be a good spot to view salmon and a place for “Salmon in the Classroom” school groups to release salmon fry.

Lewis said he and Engineers Without Borders submitted the permitting paperwork to the county Wednesday and hope to start construction later this year or early next year.

“We’ve been very anxious to get that bridge done,” Lewis said.