Rediscovering the Lost Valley for public trails

THE MIST TURNED INTO A DRIZZLE, THEN A STEADY RAIN, THEN A DOWNPOUR. 

Not the most auspicious afternoon for even a Northwest hike in autumn. So the party tramped about 50 yards down the sodden trail, paused for a quick photo, and retreated to the shelter of a nearby barn to chat and recall the day, nearly two decades ago, they first bushwhacked across this same land. 

“That was coming from the creek, up this way,” recalled Andy Maron, who served on the City Open Space Commission when “Lost Valley” first slipped into the local lexicon. 

“I remember jumping over that stream,” Maron said, indicating nearby Cooper Creek. “You didn’t have to wade it, but jump over it.” 

There was no trail in those days, and Maron, fellow Open Space Commissioner Connie Waddington and an ad hoc group of explorers crunched their way through […]

Rediscovering the Lost Valley for public trails2021-11-16T08:34:07-08:00

Building a greener urban trail on the STO

Let history record that the Sakai Pond Connector’s first user came not on wheel or foot, but hoof. 

As crews feathered in the last of 400 feet of asphalt on the Sound To Olympics Trail’s newest leg, a black-tailed doe emerged from the woods, sampled a newly planted tree at the trailside – not to its taste, fortunately – scampered across the new trail and off into the highway lanes. 

“Be smart,” one onlooker enjoined in the deer’s direction. 

“Or lucky,” said another. 

Highway traffic paused briefly, the doe disappeared across the far shoulder, and work went on. By the end of the day, STO Sakai was done. 

Let the wheels and feet follow. 

That the deer found the trailside so tantalizing owes to the aggressive planting schedule (formerly “restoration,” now “assisted natural revegetation” in the parlance) of Northwest trees and shrubs. 

[…]

Building a greener urban trail on the STO2021-10-22T14:53:08-07:00

‘It is spectacular’ – KidsUp! The Next Generation of Play is here, Sept. 4

Chris Cain would tell you, he had the easy part.

Designing KidsUp! The Next Generation of Play, the spectacular, super-inclusive new playground at Battle Point Park, didn’t take much more than brainstorming with parents and suggesting what might go where. Then he stood back and watched.   

“My role was really just to put ideas on paper, and get it spatially organized,” says Cain, a landscape architect with Bainbridge Island’s Studio Hanson Roberts. “Normally when we do a design project, it takes months of planning, there’s packages of drawings to deliver… I sat in on meetings and did some sketches here and there.”

Well, there was a little more to it than that. But when the new playground opens on Sept. 4, kids of all ages and abilities will find a veritable wonderland of sight, sound, sensation and even scent in the wildflower and herb gardens, play features […]

‘It is spectacular’ – KidsUp! The Next Generation of Play is here, Sept. 42021-09-01T12:42:14-07:00

Great food, great weather, a great evening at Picnic For Parks

Thanks to all who joined us at Picnic For Parks this past Saturday. What a wonderful summer evening for a picnic!

We packed the picnics, you picked the parks, and our special green baskets turned up in parks all across the island. We’re grateful for all of the compliments we’ve heard from our picnickers. It was a special evening for our parks, and a memorable one. 

This great fundraiser helps the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation accomplish all the great things we have going on in Bainbridge parks: Summer Trails Crew, the soon-to-open KidsUp! Playground, stewardship at Blakely Harbor, Moritani Preserve and so many others.