City’s land acquisition boosts Fish Park to 40 acres

The City of Poulsbo is adding 3.77 acres to Fish Park, making it the largest park in the city.  - Richard D. Oxley / North Kitsap Herald
The City of Poulsbo is adding 3.77 acres to Fish Park, making it the largest park in the city.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / North Kitsap Herald

POULSBO — One of Poulsbo’s largest parks is about to get bigger.

On July 9, the Poulsbo City Council approved the purchase of 3.77 acres along Bond Road and bordering Fish Park. The acquisition will increase the park’s size to 40 acres.

“It’s a piece of land we’ve always looked at, but it wasn’t on the market and we didn’t have the money,” Poulsbo Parks and Recreation Director Mary McCluskey said. “In early February, it came on the market.”

That’s when factors aligned to make the purchase possible.

Owned by the Holm family, the triangular-shaped parcel runs directly up to the edge of Fish Park, making it an easy addition. And perhaps the most appealing part of the deal is the price: nothing.

The city was able to purchase the land with a grant provided by the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office. The grant required matching funds. But cities can offset those matching funds if they have received donated land, which Poulsbo has within the past couple years. The donated land has put a considerable number of offset dollars in the bank for Poulsbo.

In the end, the transaction costs the city nothing. The land has an appraised value of $85,000.

It also solves a dilemma that the parks and recreation department has been facing.

“We were struggling on how to connect the east side of Fish Park to the west side, across the estuary,” McCluskey said.

The department considered constructing a bridge, but the venture would be too costly and would disturb the pristine estuary.

“The Holm property has the creek coming down that empties into the estuary,” McCluskey said. “They have a concrete bridge, perfect for pedestrians, that goes over the creek. We can do trail systems without affecting the estuary.”

The bridge is approximately 20 feet long and 12 feet wide.

After the purchase is final, the city will remove debris from the property. The remains of a house that burned down in 2006 will be taken away, along with a few abandoned cars.

The parks and recreation department will then add new features to the property.

“We’ll have to build some trails and maybe a boardwalk,” McCluskey said.

McCluskey said the city will likely begin removing debris in the fall, making it available to the public by next year.

Fish Park is significant because it’s where Dogfish Creek meets Liberty Bay. It is habitat for a variety of birds and fish, and is significant in Suquamish Tribe history.


Editor's note: This version of the story corrects the size of the park after the land acquisition is made.

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