State grant funds more improvements for Hawley Cove Park

Hawley Cove Park will be getting a new boardwalk and viewing platforms.

The Washington State Legislature has funded a $180,000 grant to the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District to pay for improvements at the shoreline park on Eagle Harbor north of the ferry terminal.

An existing boardwalk at the east end of the park from Wing Point will also be reinforced.

The park district applied for the grant back in 2016, but funding was only approved in the recently concluded legislative session.

The grant, made under the state’s Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA) program, leverages the more than $20,000 in private money recently raised by neighbors and local businesses to fund another new boardwalk at the park and guarantee construction in 2018.

“Neighbors and island businesses really stepped up this past December to raise $20,000 and bring at least one new boardwalk to Hawley Cove this year,” said Barb Trafton, Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation’s executive director.

“The new ALEA grant is a great surprise, and will allow us to add a second boardwalk and make even more improvements in the park,” she added.

The community-funded boardwalk will create a long-sought link between Hawley Way and the trails network at the upland, east end of the park. Park enthusiasts note the connection will improve access for all park users, and create a new pedestrian route between Wing Point and the ferry terminal.

With the state ALEA grant, an additional boardwalk and viewing platforms will enhance the shoreline park experience. The boardwalk from trails at the east end of the park from Wing Point will be reinforced and improved.

Work on the Hawley Cove projects is scheduled to begin this summer.

The Bainbridge project was one of three in Kitsap County to receive a grant.

Poulsbo will use grant funding of $460,000 to buy 10.05 acres and build a trail that connects two parts of Poulsbo’s Fish Park along Liberty Bay shoreline. The 30-acre Fish Park connects Liberty Bay, Puget Sound and Dogfish Creek.

In addition to buying the land, the state Department of Recreation and Conservation said, the city will build an 800-foot pedestrian trail, 1.5 miles of gravel trails or boardwalk, two viewing platforms, five interpretive signs, benches and picnic tables. The city also will renovate a parking lot and restore the shoreline and wetland areas.

The third grant for $30,686 has been awarded to the Port of Indianola to redevelop the Port of Indianola Dock. The port will use the grant to redevelop a dock that is part of the Mosquito Fleet Trail by installing an access ramp and interpretive signs, placing a Mosquito Fleet Historical Monument, planting plants and installing a wildlife viewing area.

The grants for the three Kitsap County projects were announced May 7 by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board.

The funding board allotted a total of $12.6 million to projects around the state to build trails and waterfront parks and to restore beaches.

Forty projects in 19 counties were funded by the board. King County received the largest allocation on a county-wide basis: $3.1 million. Spokane County was awarded $1.5 million, followed closely by Snohomish County’s $1.5 million.

“These grants help local communities make sure that people can recreate safely by providing trails, waterfront boardwalks and clean beaches, and that these environmentally sensitive areas are taken care of so they can be enjoyed for generations to come,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office in Olympia.

“These projects are really exciting,” Cottingham said. “There’s new docks, new waterfront parks and several beaches restored. These will be popular places where people can spend time outside and enjoy the beauty of Washington state. Without this funding, many communities simply couldn’t afford to build or maintain these opportunities.”