Support parks, which have been a star during pandemic

  • Sunday, September 27, 2020 1:30am
  • Opinion

In a time of pandemic, we still have parks and trails. Even with so many of our social spaces foreclosed, our parks and trails remain open, and islanders have turned to the outdoors as perhaps never before for health and exercise, solace, reflection and community.

We’re fortunate to be so rich in such a precious public resource.

This Saturday, Sept. 26, National Public Lands Day honors the parks and open spaces we hold in trust to be shared and enjoyed by all. The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation invites you to reflect on the importance of our parks and trails to our community’s quality of life, and consider how you can support them.

Despite the pandemic, it’s been a great year for our parks. In just the past few months beautiful new trails have been built at Sakai Park and the John Nelson Loop along Winslow Ravine. The Sound To Olympics Winslow Connector has seen a deep makeover as it grows into the island’s “linear park,” and a mile and a half of new public trails have been dedicated above Blakely Harbor.

At Battle Point Park, the new Founders Courts pickleball center has opened to acclaim, while the new KidsUp! Playground with its “universal design” will soon welcome kids of all abilities.

The common denominator: All of the projects have been completed with support and assistance from the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation thanks to its donors.

Over the past five years, the Parks Foundation has partnered with the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District on more than 70 improvement projects, marshaled some 11,000 hours of volunteer stewardship to keep our park ecologies healthy, and committed more than $1 million to park enhancements.

Because you love our parks and trails, we invite you to join the Parks Foundation’s new Conifer Club. With a monthly gift of as little as $10, you’ll support our local public lands and promote their improvement, stewardship and care.

Find out more at www.biparksfoundation.org. Honor National Public Lands Day with a gift to the parks and trails in our back yard, the special places we’ve grown to count on and enjoy year round.

Andy Maron is chairman of the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation board.

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