Oyster Park gets an official welcome

POULSBO — State Rep. Bev Woods (R-Kingston) remembers when an old, ugly building stood within sight of the Poulsbo Yacht Club, where she once stored her boat.

Friday, she stood with members of the Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary Club, a host of city officials and community members as the site was dedicated as Oyster Plant Park.

“I used to wish someone would make this nice,” Woods said as she surveyed the waters of Liberty Bay from the new dock replete with benches and light standards. “The Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary Club really worked hard to make this something nice.”

Fellow 23rd District State Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) said she recalls when Poulsbo discussed purchasing the property during her tenure on its city council and knew well the effort involved with the project from its inception.

“It took perseverance to apply for state grants, and Poulsbo persevered,” Appleton said, adding that the project took five years to get from architects’ sketches to its dedication day.

The volunteers involved throughout the duration of the project also showed a tremendous amount of commitment as they invested countless hours into all aspects of the park, she said.

“I believe that investment paid off,” she said, explaining that the park’s location also makes it a key asset of the city.

“It’s the only city access to the southwest part of the bay,” Appleton said. “This place won’t change.”

The park also preserves a large part of the area’s culture and natural history that might have otherwise been lost, Appleton said.

As Poulsbo-NK Rotary President Hugh Nelson looked north toward increasingly dark skies, he said the project was the result of a great collaboration between government officials and volunteers.

“It’s proof that if two people gather and work together, the result is far greater than one could have accomplished going it alone,” Nelson said, noting that no one group could have completed the project without help from the others involved.

The project was designated as the club’s centennial project, which gives it a special place in its history, he said.

Even though the Rotary provided the labor for the project required for its completion, it is leaving an important reminder at the park as well, he said.

“We brought the Rotary wheel, which is one of the best brands in the world,” Nelson said.

Its presence is symbolic of the city’s commitment to those ideals, he added.

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