Bremerton Kiwanians work to revamp namesake park
By RACHEL BRANT
Bremerton Patriot Staff writer
April 2, 2009 · Updated 6:34 PM
Local Kiwanians and Bremerton High School Key Clubbers will dust off their shovels and rakes Saturday to spruce up Kiwanis Park.
The Kiwanis Club of Bremerton invited the Bremerton High School Key Club and other Kitsap County Kiwanis organizations to participate in a work party and picnic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday as part of Kiwanis One Day.
“We’ve invited 100 surrounding neighbors (of the park),” Kiwanian Carol Sue Rogers said. “It’s also open to other Kiwanis Clubs.”
Kiwanis One Day unites nearly 600,000 volunteers worldwide in devoting a few hours to hands-on volunteer service.
Rogers said this is the second year the Kiwanis Club of Bremerton spearheaded a work party at Kiwanis Park on Fifth Street.
“Last year we did overall park cleanup, painted restrooms and did some landscaping,” Rogers said.
This year, the group of volunteers plan to paint soccer goals, remove a chain link fence, construct a wooden fence, improve landscaping and do overall park cleanup.
“The fence is a big project this year,” Rogers said.
The Kiwanis Club, youth soccer, park neighbors and the Bremerton Parks and Recreation department are working together to revitalize and rehabilitate the 4-acre park, according to Parks and Recreation Director Wyn Birkenthal.
“It’s only with the Kiwanis Club’s current leadership stepping up that we’ve really got the ball rolling,” he said.
Birkenthal said so far, the parks department has a $40,000 Community Development Block Grant and $40,000 of local real estate excise tax to put toward revitalizing Kiwanis Park. He said the Kiwanis Club of Bremerton also has contributed $10,000 of combined cash and labor, putting the overall total at $90,000 to revamp the park.
He and city park planner Colette Berna plan to present a grant to the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund in an attempt to double the $90,000.
Birkenthal said the Kiwanis Park revitalization efforts may not have come to fruition had the Kiwanis Club of Bremerton not stepped forward and showed an interest.
“If we weren’t able to find good solid partners to provide that spark and initial seed money, it would have been hard to get going,” Birkenthal said. “It takes a partnership to get anything done in hard times.”
Rogers said she’s glad she approached the Bremerton Parks and Recreation department nearly two years ago to discuss sprucing up Kiwanis Park.
“They’ve been really good