Everything Bremerton: Time to park it, Bremerton

No, not the type of parking that involves your car. The sunny day, green grass, sitting on the blanket, watching the kids play, eating sandwiches and fruit kind of park. Bremerton has some great neighborhood recreational areas for exactly this type of activity and most are a whole lot closer than you think. Many of my fellow city residents tend to leave the flashy downtown water features for the visitors, tourists and only occasionally visit these areas during the really hot weather months. Those of us who live, work and breathe Bremerton instead turn to what is right in our own neighborhoods for our daily physical activities or weekly picnics and playtimes.

In our neighborhood it is the elementary school, Naval Avenue, that is closest to our house. Thanks in large part to funding received from federal and state grants partnered with local organizations like the Bremerton Lions and the United Way, a unique and diverse activity area has emerged at Naval Avenue in the last few years. Just last week it was announced that various community organizations and funding sources would be coming together in a similar manner to improve Kiwanis Park. Way to go, guys.

On Sunday, I rounded up a couple of the other moms from my inner circle, along with their kids, and headed over to Naval for a picnic. The weather was great. The kids had a fun time riding their bikes on the paved trail, hitting the baseball and playing on the swings. The moms got to catch up on the latest in school politics and finance committee determinations while chomping down on homemade strawberry shortcake. To top it all off, a World War II B-17 Flying Fortress, the “Liberty Belle,” was conducting flyovers from Seattle to Bremerton and back the entire day so the kids received an impromptu visual history lesson, as well. It was really a picture perfect day.

In some ways city parks define us as a community. They are one of our signature faces to the outside world at large which is why so much emphasis has been spent downtown making it the glossy, shiny and very expensive version of a welcome mat. Wipe your feet and come on in. As perfect as the downtown may look at first glance it does not present the real honest face of Bremerton. The real Bremerton lives, plays, relaxes and gathers in the less-than-perfect neighborhood parks spread throughout this entire community. Parks that are like an old shoe: A little rough and worn around the edges but very comfortable, functional, soothing and after so much time a perfect fit every time you slip it on. Get out there and park it Bremerton!

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