To the editor:
The Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve is special in the Bainbridge Island park system. Unlike most of the other parks on BI that are dedicated to “active recreation,” it is one of a few that are designated as a “Nature Preserve.” The Conservation Easement for the park, a legally binding contractual agreement, was signed by the BI Land Trust when the land was acquired. It states that the natural resources of the park—plants and wildlife— are to be preserved in perpetuity.
Unfortunately, today the park is being managed for active recreation. There are dogs on and off leash, horses, geocaching, bicycles (mountain and electric—even some with child trailers), and other small motorized skateboard-type vehicles. Occasionally there are races through the park. In addition, the BI Metro Parks and Recreation District is planning to create a new trail right through the largest section of undisturbed wildlife habitat—a violation of the easement.
Please urge the park district to develop a long-term management plan for the park that is consistent with the easement and appropriate for a nature preserve. New signage is required to educate users about the purpose of a nature preserve, and how to use it responsibly. Help ensure that future generations of Bainbridge Islanders, and their children, will be able to enjoy the natural wonders there.