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Community efforts keep park in bloom

POULSBO — Poulsbo's Fish Park is heading into 2008 swimmingly.

A true community effort if there ever was one, the 13-acre patch of nature along Lindvig Way has been planted, built and tended to by the city of Poulsbo and various community groups and volunteers.

And the park's steering committee is hoping this year is no different.

Committee chair Tom Nordlie said the year's first work party — which occur from 1-4 p.m. each third Sunday of the month — was a busy one. In the last few months much has been accomplished, including the addition of new bridges and viewing platforms, rerouted streams, new trails and new plants, he said.

Area Boy Scouts have done many service projects within the park and more are planned for the future.

Olympic High School senior John Connor, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1507, recently completed a bench project in Fish Park with a helpful donation from Parker Lumber. Connor said he chose the park as a place to do the project — a vital part in earning his Eagle Scout merit — after helping build walking paths there with a group from his church. With all the community members pitching in, Connor said the place is sure coming along.

"It's looking very nice," he said.

Nordlie said for those interested in helping at the work parties, whether as part of a larger church or service organization, as a family project or simply as an extra set of helping hands, all that is needed is a pair of gloves. Tools, supplies and a to-do list will be ready for whoever wants to help.

"It really has been more embraced by the community because there's a greater awareness of the presence of the park," Nordlie said. "It's a nice destination point, a nice place to be in nature and enjoy it."

Nordlie said for each person that pitches in, the city is able to benefit with matching grant funding. And those who put in a few hours of digging, planting and building leave with a sense of ownership and can be proud in the community amenity.

"It's kind of a win-win situation for everybody," he said.

Poulsbo Parks and Recreation director Mark McCluskey said a rock sculpture is another piece the park could see in its future. Parking lot improvements began Feb. 5, allowing for a more finished look, she said.

On Oct. 25, the park will host one of the city's centennial events, a Fall Harvest Festival. In coordination with the Martinson Cabin and Nelson Park, there will be wildlife education as the salmon run is observed, and McCluskey said Fin the Fish, a giant marine animal play structure, will also be on hand for the celebration.

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