What’s happening with the Village Green and Community Center


Navy housing site:

Between May 2 and June 8, more than 60 community volunteers helped to execute a low-cost and simplified plan to reclaim the housing site portion of the Village Green. Once the grass has been mowed a few times, we’ll be able to take that fence down and open the space to the public.

In coming weeks there’ll be frequent public thanks to Dave Wetter, Rick Lanning, and the volunteers and businesses who donated time and talent to this effort.

Now the park looks like the gem it is, as does the site for the future community center/library on the rise just above where the housing was.

Fasten your seatbelts, everyone: This project is really going to gather speed now.

State funds:

To find out why we won’t be seeing a state grant this year, we hosted a visit from Dan Aarthun, manager of capital programs for CTED, the state’s granting agency (Community, Trade and Economic Development). He advised us to add to our professional and full-time staff, and raise more funds, by the time we resubmit in 2010. We’re working on these issues.

Federal funds:

We’ve made the first cut on Rep. Jay Inslee’s appropriations list. We asked for $1 million, the same as last year, but $500,000 is what we stand a good chance of getting. Thanks to Chris Endresen, Sen. Maria Cantwell is also pulling hard for us. Although the project is not on Sen. Patty Murray’s list yet, that doesn’t mean we’re out of the running.

We’re getting more information about how to apply for federal grants in addition to the appropriations process, which we understand is always subject to last-minute changes. We’ll let you know if there’s anything you can do to help.

Metropolitan Park District:

The Village Green Foundation is developing plans for an independent, Kingston-based Metropolitan Park District.

The MPD’s purpose would be to ensure permanent funding for the maintenance and operation of the planned multi-purpose community center and library building without relying on the county.

“Operation” includes recreational programs, which the foundation plans to subcontract to an experienced program administrator.

The foundation is now laying out a timeline for 2009-2010 that allows the petition campaign to begin after the proposed boundaries, approximating the Kingston zip code boundary, are reviewed.

Name change:

The Kingston Community Center Foundation is a 501(c)(3)charitable organization that is the successor to the Kingston Community Center, which used to operate our current community center using funds from bingo games, this newspaper, and vending machines. Our mission is to “Build a place that connects and strengthens community.”

For five years we’ve been working closely with an informal group slated to take over stewardship of the Village Green. We merged the groups, changed the name to the Village Green Foundation, and have the blessing of the Washington Secretary of State.

The change acknowledges that we have one integrated project: To build an intergenerational community center and develop a park.