Norwegian Point Park may soon bloom official design

HANSVILLE — As January begins to ebb, residents in Hansville are turning their thoughts to warmer months and how best to spend them outdoors. A common answer shared by many is the variety of parks scattered throughout the North End community offering walking, running, trails and picnic possibilities.

The newest member to that list of parks, Norwegian Point Park located in Hansville’s downtown core, may soon have a plan backing it to ensure it blossoms into the best possible park for Hansville residents and visitors. The first of three meetings will be held Jan. 23 for the public to offer input to the master planning process.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to zero in on Norwegian Point and not rehash what’s gone on in the past,” said Ken Shawcroft, Hansville Greenway Association (HGA) President and Saltwater Parks Committee member. Community consensus has been reached previously regarding broader goals for open spaces in Hansville, and he’s hoping to steer away from the big picture and plan specifically for this newest open space. “I think that’s a good starting point. The second meeting we’ll probably be coming back to say ‘OK, here are some alternatives, what do you think of the alternatives?’ then go back and tweak that input.”

After receiving between $17,500 and $20,000 in master planning funds from the Kitsap County Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department, with the help of Commissioner Steve Bauer, the two Hansville parks committees have been moving toward developing a plan to guide the open space’s progress. The Berger Partnership, which was contracted to work on the master plan for Heritage Park in Kingston, has been hired as a consultant to help develop the designs and foster discussion.

“My sense would be that everyone uses the park differently and brings a slightly different perspective to this,” said Hansville resident Mary Booth, who has worked as a landscape design architect and served for five or six years on the Seattle Design and Planning Commission, which works on the parks and open space in King County.

Norwegian Point Park was acquired by the county in September 2005 with a $1 million grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation office, then known as the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation. It officially opened to the public at the end of March 2007, and has been welcoming visitors since. The county was able to pitch in $500,000 for the four-acre property, and now the community is ready to work in conjunction with The Berger Partnership and the county to help the park sprout into its potential.

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