BI, parks to work together to improve trails

This week, the Bainbridge Island City Council approved an agreement with the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District.

The agreement was developed in efforts to facilitate the sharing of resources for the purpose of designing, constructing, and maintaining trails on city property or providing other maintenance activities, documents say.

“The main goal here is to improve the coordination between the city and the parks for building and maintaining trails on the city’s property and in the city’s public rights of way,” Public Works director Chris Wierzbicki said.

An accompanying General Fund budget amendment in the amount of $20,000 was authorized for trail construction and maintenance, along with other activities such as native planting, shoreline restoration, landscaping, mowing, weeding, etc. The agreement was approved by the parks board in December before coming to the council.

Throughout the last few years, park and city staff have met regularly to discuss ways the two could work together to better serve island residents and to find efficiencies in resource allocation to achieve shared goals, documents say. With the assistance of park staff, a map was produced identifying existing and desired trails on Bainbridge, and identified key corridors and unopened rights-of-way where improvements could produce connections to the active transportation system.

“The city does not currently have the capacity to build identified trail connections that are on city property or within city right-of-way,” documents say. “Parks staff is better equipped and staffed to build and maintain trails more promptly and efficiently. This agreement will allow the city and parks to collaborate on trail construction and maintenance primarily, but it also allows the city to provide services to parks that are more efficiently performed by the city.”

The agreement provides a process for each organization to request services from the other. The receiving party will estimate the cost for each work request and services will be provided at the discretion and schedule of the receiving party, per the staff memorandum. The requesting party will compensate the receiving party for services provided. The agreement will expire in five years unless renewed prior to expiration.

Parks and city staff have identified the following city properties (or right-of-way) for potential trail construction in 2021:

  • Planning and public engagement for Lost Valley trails
  • Lovgreen Road to Day Road
  • Wardwell Road (from northern terminus to Meigs Park)