Friends of "John Nelson Park" at Strawberry Cannery Cove shared a day of warmth and song Saturday, Sept. 11, in the scenic cove at the Head-of-Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Is., WA. It was the eve of the scheduled demolition of the historic cove by the City of Bainbridge Island.
One can now find on the City site a text entitled Strawberry Plant Project A Clarification but this is essentially a propaganda piece that does not clarify anything and continues to deny the very real problems facing a project opposed by a large part of the public.
This text makes it look like the Park District is 100% behind this plan but from what I have read it is not. So what happens to the City plan if the Park District does not agree with it? As you can read below there are many items that depend on the Park District.
Although I asked several times the City to tell how much had been spent on this project and how much will be spent in the future I have never received an answer. This is one more sad and frustrating chapter in this story.
From Gerald who keeps the faith and invites us to stand up again for a real park not the shadow of one.
Wednesday night, Aug. 25 at 7:05 PM is a VERY important opportunity at City Council chambers to share your thoughts about the City's plan to excavate and destroy the shore side meadows, cove and parking at Strawberry Cannery Cove Waterfront Park. Please speak now. Your voice matters.
Roger van Gelder is a Winslow resident, civil engineer, professional environmental consultant and 12 year member of the Bainbridge Is. Road End Committee. He shares his thoughts on Cannery Cove.
Gerald also informs us that the "Strawberry (Cannery) Park Restoration Project" is -again- on the Bainbridge Island City Council agenda for a 20 minute discussion next Wednesday, July 21 at 7 PM. Attend and show your representatives you are very concerned about their decisions.
Friends of Cannery Cove is now on line with a nice set of pictures and all the information you need to keep advocating for a real public park at Cannery Cove, that would respect the wishes of John Nelson thanks to whom this property was given to the community.
For four years, citizens of Bainbridge Island have been told that the shoreline containing Strawberry Cannery Cove was "the 186th worst of 201 reaches." Turns out, City of Bainbridge Island staff and grant providers planning a park there, were describing the wrong shoreline. Read the press release that details one more mistake in the way the John Nelson Park was managed.
I asked Dee what she thought about the Strawberry Park/Cannery Cove debate. Below is her answer. (The picture is by Judie Elfendahl -thanks Judie- and came from a different email). What are the other candidates and elected officials thinking?
My first concern about the Cannery Cove issue is
how one city employee, with no apparent public input and no apparent
permission from the council to seek a grant, could spend 2 years working on a
proposal, secure a grant, and THEN present it to the public as a fait accompli.
Apparently, the grant money is once again being used as a weapon against the
public...'how dare we turn this down, it's being paid for by someone
Statement before the City of Bainbridge Island Hearing Examiner, June
25, 2009, concerning the City's proposed Strawberry Cannery Park
My name is Conrad Mahnken. I am a 40 year resident of Bainbridge
Island. I am a retired NOAA fisheries biologist. At my retirement, I
was director of the NOAA Manchester (Fisheries) Laboratory and the NOAA
National Aquaculture Matrix manager at the time. I presently serve as
a Commissioner on the State Fish & Wildlife Commission.
Here is the introductory page on the city site. As I expected the report as presented by the City does not reflect what was really said but what the City employees want to promote: there was definitely much more support for an active use of the park but this is not reflected in the "official report": now restoration is magically ahead with 20%, followed by passive use at 16% and non-motorized boats hardly reaches 13.7%. This is what what was said during the charrette but now the "passive use" is presented as a "priority". Once again the City is distorting the reality of what the community wishes to push its own agenda, in this case a "passive park".
The public comment phase is in fact very limited as there is only one meeting scheduled on a thursday evening (6-8 pm) at the distant park district office and the eventual comments by citizens are not immediately shared with everybody but only sent privately to two email addresses.
This is not the right way to publicly engage the community on something as important as the only new park to be created in a near future in downtown Winslow.
I wonder if the participants to the "charrette" have approved of the presentation posted on the city's website.
A 2007 pdf only :( report posted on the site of the park district. I had never heard about it before. It was produced by a small committee (selected how and by whom?) and wishes for $10 million to buy property in Winslow, asap! Apparently the financial problems were not taken into consideration... There would be much to say about what was not done during the previous 10 years and what is still not done but that is not part of this report. The pdf format makes it impossible for interactive public comment. A first step would be to make it available in a format allowing direct public input/comment/questions. Any chance for that? Apparently only 2 public meetings are planned but consulting firms have been hired... Plus ça change, the more it stays the same :(
Readers of the Bainbridge Islander can read today how the city (who at the city is not clear but for the city shorelines planner Mr Peter Namtvedt Best quoted in the article) will remove "100 creosote piling and about 250 feet of concrete and other shoreline armoring from the Strawberry plant property... that will eventually (?!) become a public park with a restored marshland and gravel beach." The problem with this decision making process is that the community that has been asking for parks has not been consulted nor informed. While I was supposed to get information from Mr Namtvedt Best after I had inquired on October 31 about the fate of this very nice place, he never got back to me. Is he running the city? Is that acceptable? I don't think so :(
Reading the February 20 issue of the Bainbridge Review we don't learn what firm was responsible for this job. A manager for Diamond Parking does not provide any specific information nor apologize for anything wrong. The City acquiesces by saying nothing inherently wrong (illegal) was done and we get the usual argument about private property. Diamond Parking is a big corporation, they claim to be the biggest private parking company in the world (and I bet they are). It is not clear that they were in charge of this "pruning" as they could only be in charge of operating the parking while the property is owned by somebody else. This somebody else could be an entity called Winslow Marine LLC but the property tax map does not provide any clue about who they are, but for the address of an accounting firm in Bellevue. I think the people deemed "responsible" should publicly say so and offer a compensation to our community or explain to us why all is well. What type of compensation? They could plant more/new trees in this parking lot and/or provide money for trees to be planted. They should come up with internal guidelines to avoid such bad practices in the future.
Reading the story in the Seattle Times about the new Fremont Park, I think what is the City doing to set up a park at the end of Weaver Avenue? I have been there yesterday and it looked like a few volunteers have started cleaning up this very nice spot. This is a place ready to become a park.