The 4.8-acre Williams-Olson Park is located on the waterfront at the end of Williams Lane, off Koura Road. (Photo courtesy of the Bainbridge Island Park Foundation)

The 4.8-acre Williams-Olson Park is located on the waterfront at the end of Williams Lane, off Koura Road. (Photo courtesy of the Bainbridge Island Park Foundation)

Planning effort starts for Williams-Olson Park

  • Saturday, January 6, 2018 11:11am
  • News

The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation is looking for help from the community on planning the future of Williams-Olson Park on Manzanita Bay.

Islanders are needed to help suggest improvements for the park, and also to help come up with funds that will match a donation for new amenities on the 4.8-acre waterfront property.

Williams-Olson Park is located at the end of Williams Lane, off Koura Road, and currently offers kayak and beach access on more than 450 linear feet of shoreline and 8 acres of tidelands.

The upland portion of the park features lawns rolling down to the water, a pickleball court, and vista points looking north across the bay.

Foundation officials note the park was purchased with open space bond funds in 2007, but not considered for enhancements until now. A Pan Abode house that came with the purchase was recently dismantled, and the materials were reused to build cabins at Fay Bainbridge Park.

Future improvements could include a picnic shelter, a resurfaced sports court, better parking or other amenities as recommended by the new advisory group. Restoration of native vegetation and daylighting a stream will also be considered.

Friends of Williams-Olson Park will be formed under an agreement in process between the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District and the parks foundation.

Officials said the effort will be buoyed by a current $50,000 matching grant from a family foundation to honor the late Carl Hitchcock Williams, a Bainbridge resident and Seattle educator who passed away in 2009 at the age 59.

Williams was descended from the park’s namesake family, who homesteaded the land a century ago. He spent summers on Manzanita Bay and returned to raise his daughters there with his wife, Lydia.

The parks foundation is leading a fundraising effort to match the grant and complete the improvements once they are determined. To volunteer for the Friends of Williams-Olsen Park group or contribute toward the park project, email barb@biparksfoundation.org. For more information, visit www.biparksfoundation.org.

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