Nelson Park design will retain rural feel

POULSBO — With about a month to go before development of Nelson Park is set to occur, Poulsbo Parks and Recreation now has a working drawing of how the finished product will likely look.

“The master plan that was approved in 1998 was not very different from this,” Poulsbo Parks and Recreation Director Mary McCluskey commented on the drawing, which has met with approval from both the parks commission and the city council.

Parks and recreation was awarded more than $320,000 in matching grant funding in September 2002 to develop Nelson Park. The 11-acre parcel at the northernmost point of Liberty Bay is the former Nelson farm and was bought by the city for park land in the late 1990s. The grant money focuses on the north 3.5 acres of the park that are intended for passive uses.

An architect’s drawing by consultant Hough Beck & Baird, Inc., features the Nelson farmhouse as the new caretaker’s residence. The house is surrounded by a one-way circular driveway, including some angle parking spots. The driveway connects with a parking lot on the northwest section of the property, which leads to a one-way, right-turn only exit onto Viking Avenue. All told, about 22 parking spots are planned.

Besides the farmhouse, a restroom, picnic shelter and children’s play area are also included in the structures. The master plan originally called for a combined restroom and picnic shelter, however, parks commission members supported two separate structures.

The picnic shelter will include between six and eight tables, while two to four separate tables are planned at other areas of the park.

Both the restroom and the picnic shelter are designed in the shape of barns, and will include facades to further this concept.

“This was a farm and we want to keep that feeling to the area,” McCluskey explained of the designs.

Sometime this month, McCluskey plans to have a booth at Central Market to get opinions from local kids and parents on toys that will be placed in the park’s play area. Times and dates are yet to be announced.

Toys for ages 2-5 and 6-12 will be included in the space, and McCluskey said she plans to present community members with a few choices that are appropriate to the theme of the park.

“We’re not going to put a pink plastic castle in the middle of a farm, so I have to be careful about what I show them,” McCluskey commented.

Work in the next month will also include continuing tinker with the architect’s drawing, although McCluskey said she does not expect it to change much. Permitting and budgeting will also need to happen before the construction can move forward.

“Right now we’re just firming up plans, firming up budget, firming up timelines,” McCluskey said.

Last week, members of the Bight of Poulsbo, the community group that has been restoring the Nelson farmhouse, said their project will meet the Parks and Recreation June 1 deadline. McCluskey said entire Nelson Park development is expected to last about three months, but the beginning date depends a great deal on the farmhouse.

“June 1 is important because we have to get them out and remove any asbestos or things like that and them demolish the old house before the other work starts,” McCluskey said.

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