At the Nov. 28 Poulsbo Parks and Recreation meeting, the committee went over its third-quarter report, which was all about busy summer programs, camps and special events.
In the third quarter, 283 programs were offered with 1,677 participants. Registration numbers for July and August were close to 1,300 participants in camps, classes and programs and does not include people who participated in the free family events that occurred.
July was National Parks & Recreation month, and this year it added free programs such as Good Morning Yoga in the Park on Fridays, free education classes from the Tree Board and the Kitsap Audubon Society, along with other events and activities.
Parks partnered with West Sound Academy, which hosted two weekly camps provided by Bricks4kids and Tim Lowell’s Curiosity Camps. Many summer camps ran at capacity. New staff was hired, and the department had several of its VIPs (volunteer interns) camp aids between the ages of 12-14 who assisted instructors while gaining work experience for their future, per documents.
Fall classes and events operate from September to December. Parks hired a new music instructor to grow the program for youth and adults. It also established a partnership with Kitsap Art to expand classes for adults. The department is looking to replace instructors lost during the pandemic due to retirement, relocation or who just decided to get out of teaching.
July brought the return of the popular Summer Nights at the Bay Concert series at Muriel Iverson Waterfront park. There were six concerts featuring entertainers playing an array of musical genres with over 2,500 guests downtown. In honor of Parks and Recreation month, additional free activities were held, including Storytime, a steel drum concert, Chalk the Walk, yoga, geocache hunts and more. The Lions Park tennis courts were given a fresh set of pickleball lines, and a long-awaited tube slide was replaced at Raab Park.
August saw the completion of the newest wildlife viewing platform at Fish Park spearheaded and constructed by the Lions Club of Poulsbo. Volunteers from the Fish Park Steering Committee and Washington Youth Academy cadets rounded out the project by removing invasives and replacing split rail fencing making the Cutthroat Trail and its terminus along Bond Road worth exploring, documents state.
September introduced a new, interactive program, BioBlitz: Parks for Pollinators. The monthlong event allowed patrons to use smartphones to identify and log research-grade observations indicating where pollinator species and flora are located in parks and open spaces.
Parks entered 270 events into its community calendar in the third quarter. The department’s annual “Summer Nights at Liberty Bay” free summer concert series spanned six concerts that accommodated about 2,500 attendees. The city held 13 special events, a 116.67 percent increase in the number of events from last year, with only six held in 2021.
With the implementation of a post-event questionnaire, the results have shown excitement to host events in Poulsbo in the future again, the report states. “Additionally, there have been positive responses that the city and its staff have been knowledgeable, supportive and helpful during the special event process.”
The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee heard 2023 presentations given by 11 applicants. The committee’s next step is to finalize the recommendations for the grants. The special events coordinator regularly attended the Historic Downtown Poulsbo monthly meetings, allowing the city to maintain the goal of collaboration. With help from the special events subcommittee, the team is researching updating sign boards in Poulsbo.
Former parks director Dan Schoonmaker continued to facilitate work on the PERC feasibility study, worked with the Skate Park Coalition and oversaw the development of potential new partnerships with police and the YWCA to utilize space in the building, documents read.
In September, Schoonmaker resigned as parks director, and in the interim programmers Rachel Cornette and Kris Goodfellow began sharing responsibilities until a new director is chosen.