Design for new mountain bike park due

The Bainbridge Island Metro Parks & Recreation District is planning to have its retreat and its meetings in-person after Gov. Jay Inslee’s mask requirements ease up March 21.

Parks Commissioner Dawn Janow said at the retreat they will discuss what should be done at Sakai and Strawberry parks, along with the Aquatic Center.

She said the vision at Strawberry Park is “a big deal for us,” with the possibilities of turf fields, lighting, mountain bike park, skateboard park, tennis courts and maybe even a field house.

They will also discuss the demographics of who they are serving, online programs, modernizing communications, visions for equipment, replacing vehicles and capital projects, along with timelines and cost.

The parks commission also went through open government training.

The biggest question commissioners had was what has to be saved and what can be deleted?

Terry Lande, executive director, said there is a procedure that must take place to delete each item. “Isn’t it easier to keep it on your computer until you leave the park district?” he said.

Commissioner Jay Kinney said about the training they’re “not kidding about the lawsuits. Some request records and are not acting in good faith.” There is no insurance and commissioners could be personally liable. “It could be costly,” he said.

Many of the parks administrators said they are busy hiring people. Lande said a new IT manager was hired. “I think there is a line forming at his door already,” he said.

In talks with the city, Lande said he learned they are looking to use only electric hand tools for six months. If they like it there is discussion of a city ordinance that would outlaw gas-powered hand tools.

“That would be an eye-opener for a lot of people,” Lande said.

Meanwhile, a design for the new mountain bike park was due Feb. 23, and negotiations are underway to build the new skateboard park, both at Strawberry Hill Park. Discussion of the visitor center at the memorial at Pritchard Park is underway.

It was also mentioned that an irrigation fix at the Sands Ballfield has been found and could mean baseball practice could occur there soon.

In other news:

• Membership growth at the Bainbridge Island Recreation Center has slowed but is now at 1,416.

• The summer catalog will be available online March 28 with registration April 20.

• Popular sports include tennis with 27 teams, cycling as folks gear up for better weather, dance, basketball, snow ski trips and chess camp.

• Also, boys and girls gymnastics teams are competing, along with swim teams. Personal trainer appointments also are up.