Category: Log Articles (Page 2 of 6)

Articles also found in the Hansville Log

November 2019

To fall in love with the Greenway all over again.

Fall is a perfect season to explore and connect with nature in the Greenway. November highlights include the changing color of foliage, animals preparing for cooler weather, as well as invisible changes occurring in the plant world.

The green of chlorophyll, which masked fall colors all summer, is waning due to dwindling daylight and cooling temperatures. As a result, the reds, yellows, golds, reveal their beauty as fall leads the way toward winter.  

Forest-dwelling creatures scurry to and fro preparing for the colder weather in the months ahead by preparing their dens for cover from harsh weather, caching food away, and packing on ounces or pounds to carry them through the winter months. They are also increasing coat volume to help ward off the cooler temperatures just ahead. Their activity levels are high as daylight dwindles, necessitating a hurry-up defensive attack to accomplish their goals. Each day provides less opportunity than the day before to perform their winter preparation activities.  

Fall is a perfect time to explore and experience the abundance of life existing in the Greenway. On your next visit to the Greenway I encourage you to open your senses fully, leave your thoughts and worries behind to fully connect with and experience the abundance of life existing in the Greenway. Doing so will benefit you and the Greenway in innumerable ways.

As always, the Greenway volunteers have been busy maintaining the trails for all to enjoy. There is an ongoing need for volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, indicate your interest by using the contact us link at hansvillegreenway.org

The next scheduled meeting takes place on Thursday, December 5, 2019, at 6 PM, GHCC.

This last meeting of the year includes a party honoring all the volunteers who donate time and resources to the Greenway. 

October 2019

Do you remember newsworthy events which took place 29 years ago?  What about the search for WMD’s in Iraq; or the launching of the Hubble Telescope.  At the time, these significant events made the headlines. Then, with time they faded into the past, to be replaced with the next sensationalized event.  Something else took root 29 years ago, which has grown and flourished.

With a love of nature and a desire to preserve a piece of it for generations, Sid Knutson, a retired engineer and community volunteer, had an idea.  Recognizing the forested and wetland areas in Hansville as critical to protect as a nature preserve, he set off to create a plan to protect 250+ acres of Nature.  

The plan included the protection of wetlands, creating a wildlife corridor between Puget Sound to the east, and the Hood Canal to the west, and to build a network of trails for people on foot and bicycle to explore the diversity of life within the Greenway.  The plan envisioned and originally planned by Sid Knutson ultimately required like-minded volunteers to bring it to life.

Two instrumental volunteers assisted Sid Knutson to implement the Greenway project:  Mary Ellen McCaffree-a retired Washington State Political leader with environmental legislation experience, and Ken Shawcroft- a retired engineer and Kitsap School district volunteer, contributed their time, passions, and skillsets to help nurture Sid Knutson’s idea into the Hansville Greenway Association. 

A comprehensive history of the Greenway is available in a publication titled “Story of the Hansville Greenway” which can be found for purchase at the Hansville Grocery, and Kingston Mercantile.  All proceeds from the sale of these books goes to support the bus funding for the Hansville Greenway Ecosystem Elementary Education project with the North Kitsap School District.

The Greenway volunteers would like to thank Kingston Mercantile for the generous financial donation to the student busing fund.

Historical information is also available at the hansvillegreenway.org website.

The next meeting is on October 3, at 6 PM at the GHCC.

September 2019

September in the Greenway. Plant and animal life are in full swing. Plants are putting on growth through photosynthesis, while sugar and carbohydrate production takes place to fuel new growth and prepare for the dormant months of diminishing light and cooler temperatures.  Animals are busy with daily life: foraging, caring for their offspring, all while preparing for the return of fall. 

Insects are active too! A couple of hornet nests were observed by a hiker at the Otter Meadow kiosk. If you should happen to be in the area, please beware of their presence, and respect their place in nature.   

Birds, insects, plants, and trees are not the only life forms going about business in the Greenways. The volunteer crew continues to whack, cut, and brush vegetation back from the trails so that anyone interested in stepping in the Greenway can do so safely.  

It is an excellent time of year to take time to explore the Greenway.  Step away from electronic gadgets and the constant buzz of city life to take a walk in nature. Take your awareness, a pair of binoculars, and an open mind into the Greenway to see, hear, and sense the abundant life living in the Greenway.  

The new Greenway tool storage shed is coming together nicely. Thanks to Art Ellison and crew, who built shelving, organized and arranged the space to store the tools used by the Greenway trail volunteers.  

The next Greenway meeting convenes on Thursday, October 3, 6 PM at the GHCC.

August 2019

The Greenway Association wishes to thank Bob Whitworth of Whitworth Excavating for his donation of gravel for use on the Alder Wetland’s Trail.  The gift is enthusiastically appreciated!

The Greenway survived July 4 celebration!   The threat of fire from fireworks is over for another year, yet the Greenway is as dry as it will be all year and, the risk of wildfire remains.

This month I will spark your memory with a brief overview of the elements necessary for a fire to begin and continue to burn, as well as how to extinguish a fire in the Greenway. 

There are three elements necessary for a fire to come to life: a source of ignition such as a spark; fuel such as wood, grass, or brush; and oxygen.  The three sources are known as the fire triangle. The triangle must be complete or, a fire will not be sustainable. 

Once started, a fire will continue to burn when there is a source of fuel and oxygen present.  Arresting the flames consists of either removing the combustible material or oxygen. Removing oxygen from a large-scale fire in the Greenway could prove to be a difficult task as it can take a lot of water to do this.   Removing or altering the properties of the combustible material is the last and maybe the best option to extinguish the fire.  This can be accomplished by establishing a firebreak and moving unburned fuel away from the fire. 

Two sides of the fire triangle exist within the Greenway; burnable material and, oxygen.  It only takes a spark to initiate a fire in the woods. Let’s all do our part to keep the Greenway fire-free.  As Smokey-the-Bear states “Only you can prevent wildfires.”  

The next scheduled Greenway meeting will take place on August 1, 2019, 6 PM at the GHCC. 

July 2019

July 4, 2019, marks the 243rd year of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Britain.   This day marks an event Americans come together to celebrate a founding pillar of our Independence: Freedom!  Freedom from rule and freedom to choose.  We have a choice where to use fireworks and safety guidelines to follow when celebrating with them.

Fireworks will be purchased and stockpiled in anticipation of celebrating Independence Day, which coincides with our dry season. Therefore, it is imperative to plan fireworks celebrations accordingly and follow the local fireworks code.

We want the Greenway to remain green this year, and every year.   Create a plan where you will launch fireworks before heading out to celebrate.  Ensure there is plenty of open space where you shoot off fireworks because they rarely fly in the direction intended.  Once launched, the laws of physics determine where they end up.  Please plan accordingly.

It is our responsibility to celebrate Independence Day with the utmost care to protect the Greenway from harm. Planning how and where you celebrate with fireworks can minimize the potential for fire and stress to the Greenway’s residents.  Below is a link to the Kitsap County fireworks code, and a link to an article in the Kitsap Sun with a recent update on allowable fireworks. 

The Greenway trail maintenance crew is hard at work trimming brush, cutting limbs, and weed eating grass along the trails to keep them open for all of us to enjoy.  At the end of the day, the crew returns their tools to the new toolshed!  Thanks to all who helped demolish the old shed and assembled the new one. 

https://www.codepublishing.com/WA/KitsapCounty/html/Kitsap10/Kitsap1048.html

https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2019/05/29/fireworks-restrictions-passes-kitsap-county-july-4th/1278809001/

The next scheduled meeting is for August 1, 2019, at 6:00 PM at the GHCC.

June 2019

Hansville Greenway Update

As humans, we pick and choose whomwe invite into our homes. While this isthe norm for us, it is not a privilege offorest dwelling animals. They do not have the option to pick and choose when humans enter their domain. So,it is essential for us to respect their home as we explore it.

Trails provide us with the opportunity to go deep into the living forest. The trails also provide access to delicate and sensitive parts of the Greenway allowing us to experience the natural world from within; the Greenway and ourselves. Therefore, it is imperative to take precautions to minimize our impact on the forest ecosystem.

We can minimize our presence by sticking to the trails, leaving with all the items we entered with, listening to nature more than adding to it, and wearing earth-colored clothing to blend in with nature. Also, as a reminder to folks hiking with your dog(s), please keep them on leash to further reduce disruption to the forest animals and plants!

The trail crews have been very busy cutting back trail encroaching vegetation.A big thank you to all the volunteers who keep the trails accessible.

You may request information by emailing: info@hansvillegreenway.org. The next scheduled Greenway meeting is for June 4, 2019, 6:00 pm at the Community Center.

May 2019

Hansville Greenway Update

“Tick tick tick” is the sound of time passing.  The clock’s ticking is a reminder to end one task and move to the next, in a never-ending list of things to do, places to be, and people to see.  Let the next tick of the clock be a reminder to step away from the list, to take a break from work and take a walk in the Greenway.  Step away from the desk, leave the ticking clock behind to venture into the woods and listen instead to the sounds of singing birds and ribbiting frogs. When the ticking of the timer ends, and you enter the forest, remember there is another tick you may encounter.  This one is difficult to detect; it is silent, creeps and crawls, and is hard to see.

The Greenway forest is full of ticks!  Memorial Day marks the height of tick season in western Washington.  The thought of a tick crawling on me or jumping onto my head is a disgusting thought, and it happens more than I care to think.  Humans and other animals, including my favorite canine companion, are fair game when it comes to hosting a tick’s thirst for blood.  Ticks survive, no, they thrive on blood, taking what they need before releasing their grip and moving on.  A tick’s place in the forest is both beneficial and troublesome.

Ticks help overpopulated animal species maintain healthy numbers through the spread of diseases.  Ticks are food for other forest-dwelling inhabitants such as frogs and other reptiles, birds, and opossums.  Ticks also carry diseases that pose a hazard to our furry friends and us.

While ticks play a beneficial role in the Greenway by controlling over-populated wildlife species and giving themselves up as a food source, they also are a concern for humans and our furry walking companions as a potential source of Lyme disease, so make sure you dress appropriately to keep the little buggers from latching on to you. 

Appropriate clothing to wear includes long pants, tucked into your socks; long sleeve shirt, tucked into your pants; and a hat.  It is also advisable to wear light-colored clothing to contrast with the tick’s dark color, making them easier to spot. 

To learn more about ticks visit the Washington Department of Health website at https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Pests/Ticks

As usual, the volunteer trail stewards have been busy maintaining the trails so we all can enjoy them safely.  They are an integral part of the Greenway trail system and much appreciated. 

The next scheduled Greenway meeting is June 6, 2019, 6:00 pm at the GHCC.

April 2019

HANSVILLE GREENWAY UPDATE

On Sunday morning, March 10, I sat down at my desk to work on this article. I glanced over at the desk calendar to count the days before spring would arrive. 10 days to go! Each passing day is another step in the march toward spring.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the fleeting sight of a small brown animal scurrying around the window, up the siding, under the eave, disappearing over the gutter, and onto the roof. I got up from my chair to step outside to locate the little animal and I found it sitting at the edge of the roof–a cute brown squirrel staring at me. Signs of Spring are all around us if we take the time to pay attention and connect with nature.

What are signs that Winter is giving way to Spring? The blanket of snow which covered the Greenway forest floor just a few weeks ago has melted. Increasing temperatures and longer daylight fuel photosynthesis in plants and trees to support new growth while animals take advantage of these changes to prepare nests and dens for new arrivals.

I encourage you to take a break from the hectic pace of life by stepping into the Greenway to explore the trails and witness spring’s gradual arrival.  Leave your desk and calendar behind to take a walk on one of the many Greenway trails. As you do, be aware of all the sights, sounds, smells, as well as the feelings that arise in you. Look at the ground for early blooming plant life. Gaze upward to the treetops to spot new buds forming. Listen and observe male birds singing and putting on a display to court a mate. Observe birds gathering twigs from the forest floor to build their nests.  Smell the fresh scent of new plant growth. Feel the warmth of the Sun on your face.  Check out branches above you and you may just spot a furry animal looking back at you.

Our volunteers will be busy, too.  The plan is to demolish the existing tool shed and replace it with a new one. This will provide a long-term secure place to store the tools used to keep the trails accessible for all to enjoy.

For anyone interested in volunteering for the Greenway submit your interest to info@hansvillegreenway.org for further information.

The next scheduled Greenway Association meeting is on April 4, 2019, at 6 PM at the Greater Hansville Community Center.

 

 

March 2019

HANSVILLE GREENWAY UPDATE

There is an old saying, if you dislike the weather here just wait 5 minutes, it will change. Two days after 50 degree weather of sun and no wind, the weather turned 180 degrees and with it brought back Winter conditions. As of February 8, we are receiving a thickening blanket of fluffy snow. The potential for more winds, snow, and freezing temperatures over the next 3 or 4 days exists. There are two safety concerns to be mindful of when hiking the Greenway trails.

The first safety concern is preparing for the cold and snow before embarking on a hike. Carry emergency supplies, first aid kit, a bottle of water, matches and a fully charged cell phone, and dress in layers. With the heavy snow-laden branches, the chance of breaking and falling limbs and trees increases. The weather can shift rapidly, so prepare before heading out to enjoy the trails and woods during snowy conditions. The second safety concern to plan for before leaving on a hike is what to do if you see a bear or coyote.

Wildlife, such as bears and coyotes, use the Greenway for privacy, food resources, and as a migratory corridor throughout the year.  They do not want contact with humans nor do we want to come in contact with them. Even though it is winter, bear sittings occur.

 It is a common perception that bears hibernate during the winter. This is bear behavior in winter, right?  There is an exception.  In coastal regions where the winters are mild,  male black bears often forage throughout the winter.  What should you do if you happen to see a bear while hiking?

If you happen to cross paths with a bear while hiking, there are specific actions to take to protect yourself.  Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website, listed below, to learn what to do in the event you come across a bear while hiking.

The following website links lead to two sites, one providing information about local wildlife and their habits, the other providing information on preparing to go for a hike.

https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/bears.html

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/day-hiking-checklist.html

We are planning to offer weekly guided nature hikes on the Greenway trails.  A Greenway volunteer will lead the hikes, answer questions, and introduce you to the trail system.  If you are interested in taking part, please email us at: info@hansvillegreenway.org.

The next scheduled bi-monthly meeting is on April 4, 2019-6:00 pm at GHCC, 6778 Buck Lk. RD. NE.

February 2019

HANSVILLE GREENWAY UPDATE

The next bi-monthly meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 7 at 6:00 pm at the Greater Hansville Community Center.

Late December and early January winds blew through the Greenway downing trees, snapping branches, and scattering debris. Wind is Mother Nature’s tool for pruning forests of dead and weakened trees. The problem is Mother Nature does not clean up after herself, which requires the Greenway’s dedicated volunteer staff to plan, mobilize and attack the fallen trees and limbs with chainsaws, loppers, and other tools necessary to clean up the mess.

Saturday, January 5th provided volunteers a weather opportunity to assemble and clean up after the heavy winds blew through in late December and early January. About 40 trees and branches were downed, impacting the trail between Hansville Highway and milepost 18. Volunteers met at Norwegian Point Park to carpool to the cleanup area. Within about 1 1/2 hours the crew had sawed, lopped and removed the downed trees and limbs from the trail, once again opening the path to safe hiking. A big thank you to all the volunteers who contributed to this endeavor making it a success. If you have an interest in volunteering to help keep the Greenway trails accessible, please contact us through the website at Hansvillegreenway.org

 

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