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.
Friends of Cannery Cove and neighbors including Bainbridge Is. School District adult living students spent Earth Day, April 22, clearing shore side meadows of Scotch broom and blackberry thickets and filling a dumpster with beach and mudflats debris at John Nelson Park at Cannery Cove, 240 Weaver Rd.
Looking at walkscore I noticed there were no mention of two parks close to our home: Gideon Park on Grow Avenue, on the right side right after Wyatt and of course Strawberry Park (or Cannery Cove) the park with a wonderful view and access on Eagle Harbor. I have informed Google and I hope that both parks will soon be marked on their maps of Bainbridge. Same thing for the map designed by the Chamber of Commerce. For the details of the story around/about Strawberry Park click on the category "The saga of Strawberry park".
On Monday I received a call from Katie Cook inviting me to a meeting on Wednesday organized by the city about Strawberry Park. Out of curiosity and since I already spent so much time about Strawberry Park I decided to attend. It was mostly male seniors but for Linda Owens who has done such a tremendous work documenting all the process about the park and the facilitator Dee Endelman.
City plans driven by grants designed to establish "fish and wildlife
preserves forever" for a project that involved no open public input or
creativity threaten to destroy the historic and cultural landscape of
Cannery Cove, its beautiful harbor overviews and meadow, any
opportunity for safe water access via ramp and float, and opportunities
for educational and recreational uses there.
Friends of preserving Cannery Cove (see some supporters names below)
are asking citizens to give this there most urgent attention NOW.
Consider signing a petition to City and Parks to save the site's
historic landscape and water access, and to ATTEND the 7 PM, July 22
City Council meeting --- wearing a life preserver!
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.
Thank you Gerry for giving us this excellent report about the second hearing about what should be done with Strawberry Park. I wonder: were any members of the City Council attending? What is the position of the candidates for City Council, to be elected in the Fall, on this issue? Meanwhile go and enjoy the park... and laugh aloud at the opinions of Mr Best -the City's project manager- (at the very end of Gerry's report). There will be a last hearing on July 10 with a visit to the site.
I used email as you can read below if you are so inclined. Yes it is the same rant against the way the City (one employee in charge of this project) pushes its plan against the will of the community. I invite you to visit the park as it is now a really inspiring place that the city plan would largely destroy. Enough public protest can still kill it, as we did for Grow Avenue.
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.
I totally agree with the editorial published in the Review criticizing how "the City" (who is the City"?) pushed for its own design for Strawberry Park as a "passive park", just because "they" had decided it was the best way to go. I happen to be totally against this approach since Strawberry Park is a key opportunity to provide a real public park for the downtown Winslow that badly needs it. Contrary to the Review I still think the community, us the people, can derail the City plan, as we did for Grow Avenue when they wanted to cut all the trees and create sidewalks without any plan to reduce the speed of the cars on our street. Neighbors banded together and we blocked this project that would have destroyed the feel of our community. I hope we can do the same for Strawberry park and get an active park instead of the "passive"one they want to force upon us.
It looks like the hours have been changed from what was announced in Review: the meeting is now taking place in the afternoon from 1 to 5 (instead of the morning). Nothing was posted on the city's website (that I could find).
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 :(