PORT ORCHARD — Thirteen recreational projects in Kitsap County are the recipients of a little more than $10 million in funding grants awarded Wednesday by the state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board.
In total, the state board funded 342 grants across the state with more than $164 million that was matched by over $221 million in resources from grant applicants, bringing the total investment in Washington state recreational projects to nearly $386 million.
The grants will be spent on projects in all of Washington’s 39 counties and include projects to refurbish aging parks, maintain trails, build boating docks and conserve land used for farming and timber harvest. The grants also will conserve critical habitat for wildlife species in danger of extinction, the board said in a news release.
Topping the grant funding in Kitsap County is $2,935,000 for developing the North Kitsap Divide Block Community Forest by the Great Peninsula Conservancy. The organization will use the grant to establish one of the last remaining large blocks of private timberland in northern Kitsap County as a community forest.
According to the conservancy, the 487-acre area is threatened with conversion to a 24-house development. With ample moisture, road infrastructure and moderate slopes, this area has some of the best growing conditions in western Washington. The location is also the future route of the regionally significant Sound to Olympics Trail, which will connect the Mountains to Sound Greenway with the Olympic Discovery Trail.
The land is in an important 1,800-acre wildlife corridor, which includes Kitsap County’s 800-acre North Kitsap Heritage Park, Great Peninsula Conservancy’s 280-acre Grovers Creek Preserve, and private forestland. This project is part of the larger Kitsap Forest and Bay Project, which was a decade-long initiative to protect some of the last remaining large blocks of land in northern Kitsap County.
The Great Peninsula Conservancy will contribute $2.8 million in a federal grant.
The Port of Silverdale was given a grant award of $1,128,288 to improve the “Old Town” Silverdale Marina. It will use two grants to improve the facility by expanding moorage and improving public access by extending a finger pier and replacing the gangway from the existing pier to the marina dock. The Port also will install an 82-foot-long gangway from the existing pier to a new float that will be open to all non-motorized watercraft.
In addition, the Port will upgrade wiring, power pedestals and plumbing. Extending the finger pier by 1,700 square feet will provide wind and wave protection and allow larger boats to tie up. The new float will feature a low freeboard for easy access in and out of the water.
The Port also will clean up derelict rock debris on the beach and restore the natural beach habitat to support wildlife, including salmon, listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Port of Silverdale will contribute $250,000 in staff labor and a local grant.
The state also granted $1.2 million to the Port of Bremerton to replace the quarter-mile-long Port Orchard Marina breakwater. It provides more than a half-mile of guest moorage and protects the marina, according to Port officials. The Port said it will contribute $3.9 million in a state appropriation, city council bonds, and donated cash.
Other Kitsap County projects include:
$870,000 grant to the City of Poulsbo to build an inclusive playground in Raab Park
The City of Poulsbo will use this grant to develop an inclusive playground in the 21-acre Raab Park. The playground will include seven pieces of equipment and numerous sensory stations, all designed to accommodate people with physical disabilities and provide a sensory-rich experience. The 9,000-square-foot playground will feature a soft, padded synthetic surface and wheelchair-accessible ramps.
The inclusive playground is a community effort. The Poulsbo North Kitsap Rotary Club formed a partnership with the city and is co-leading this project alongside the Kitsap Community Foundation, special interest groups, and citizens.
$851,065 grant to Port of Illahee to improve guest moorage at Port Orchard Bay
The Port of Illahee will use this grant to create 11 slips for guest motorboats that are up to 26 feet long at the Port Orchard Bay moorage facility. The Port will also improve the configuration of the moorage to provide individual slips and better vessel maneuvering options. The agency will contribute $299,000 to the project.
$850,000 grant to the City of Bremerton to renovate Haddon Neighborhood Park
The City of Bremerton will use two grants to develop pathways throughout Haddon Park so people with disabilities can reach places in the park, including a playground, restroom, shelter and multi-use sports court. Currently, no part of the park is accessible to people with disabilities. According to the city, the 4-acre park is an aging neighborhood park with pathways and a sports court. Bremerton will contribute $99,625 in cash, staff labor, and a local grant.
$749,750 grant to the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks and Recreation District to expand Hidden Cove Park
The district will use this grant to buy a half-acre near Hidden Cove Park along the Cascade Marine Trail. The land will support a community boating program with a large dock, a shelter for instruction, equipment storage, and expanded access to the waterfront. The Bainbridge Island district will contribute $250,025 in voter-approved bonds and donated cash.
$611,073 grant to Washington Department of Natural Resources to buy land in the Stavis Natural Resources Conservation Area
DNR will use this grant to buy about 27 acres for inclusion in the Stavis Natural Resources Conservation Area. The purchase will protect forests along the forks of Stavis, Seabeck and Boyce Creeks, which are used by chum and coho salmon on Hood Canal. The purchase will also protect rare forest communities in one of the most important corridors for biodiversity conservation in the Puget Trough.
$500,000 grant to the Port of Illahee to improve access to the waterfront
The Port of Illahee will use this grant to replace two recreational floats on the Illahee dock, expand parking and improve pathways to the beach. The Illahee dock is a wooden pier with gangways and two recreational floats, which have deteriorated and require immediate replacement. The Port will contribute $312,000 to the project.
$246,000 grant to the Port of Kingston to replace a marina restroom
The Port of Kingston will use two grants to replace its 1960s-era restroom, which is upland from the Port’s marina and guest dock, with one that is accessible to people with disabilities. The restroom will be a prefabricated facility open to all port visitors. The Port will contribute $82,000.
$86,025 grant to the Port of Brownsville to enhance safety and convenience at the Port
The Port of Brownsville will use this grant to install a credit card pay station at the boat launch and fuel dock at its facilities. In addition, the Port will add security cameras and lighting on the docks and breakwater, and in the parking lot to improve safety and security. The Port will contribute $28,675 to the project.
$60,959 to KBH Archers Inc. to construct a storage building
KBH Archers Inc. will use this grant to demolish and remove a storage trailer and replace it with a single-story building with restrooms. KBH Archers Inc. will contribute $60,960 in donations of equipment and labor.
$48,480 grant to Bainbridge Island Sportsmen’s Club to renovate a range berm
The sportsmen’s club will use the grant to renovate the berm at its pistol caliber range. The club will clean up the lead and metals in the existing berm, remove the dirt and sand, and replace the berm with easier-to-maintain rubber berm trap material. The club will contribute $24,240 in cash and a private grant.
Overall, the grants come from 10 different grant programs administered by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Grants are awarded once every two years, officials said.