Evergreen, Lions parks get state green
By RACHEL BRANT
Bremerton Patriot Staff writer
July 23, 2009 · Updated 2:21 PM
Bremerton’s most popular park is about to get a makeover.
“It’s really an important project,” said Bremerton Parks and Recreation Director Wyn Birkenthal. “During the season, the park is just full of people.”
The state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board recently approved a $500,000 grant to expand the park and restore 700 feet of shoreline at Evergreen Park.
“This grant’s a wonderful opportunity to carry the park and expand it to the south,” Birkenthal said.
The project was the top-ranked project of 76 competing for funding in the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program local parks category, according to the Recreation and Conservation Office.
The city also will contribute $1.6 million in cash and donations as well as state, federal and private grants to the Evergreen Park expansion and shoreline restoration.
Evergreen Park will be expanded by 1.56 acres. Work will include restoring 700 feet of shoreline, creating a beach to provide access to the water and developing additional parking to relieve the pressure on existing parking lots and streets.
Birkenthal said the city’s dream of building a boardwalk connecting Evergreen Park to downtown Bremerton will make the park even more popular.
“When the boardwalk happens, Evergreen Park will be that much better,” he said.
Birkenthal said the environmental cleanup is currently underway and construction is scheduled to start in 2010.
Evergreen Park isn’t the only Bremerton park getting a makeover, however.
Lions Park in East Bremerton is scheduled to undergo a $1.7 million renovation, approved July 1 by Bremerton City Council.
The project received a $1 million grant from the state Department of Ecology, $500,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Bremerton Central Lions Club pledged $50,000 for the renovation.
Birkenthal said the biggest aspect of the renovation will be moving several acres of asphalt parking from the waterfront to farther upland, adding more green space along the waterfront.
A concession stand and restrooms will be replaced and two undersized ball fields will be eliminated. Landscaping also will be done throughout the park.
The pledge from the Bremerton Central Lions Club will fund a new children’s play area.
Birkenthal said the renovation will begin next spring, with completion scheduled for spring 2011.