I have absolutely no idea what I did with the August article. So just pretend I was on vacation. I promise to do better!
Articles also found in the Hansville Log
I have absolutely no idea what I did with the August article. So just pretend I was on vacation. I promise to do better!
When Ken Shawcroft bought a home in the newish Shorewoods subdivision in 1975, more homes were planned for the heavily wooded area that eventually became the Hansville Greenway. But limited water and then a daunting housing bust discouraged most developers.
Sid Knudsen provided a solution when he began working in the 1990s for a conservation and wildlife preservation area with hiking trails to replace residential use plans. Ken was part of that original project. When Sid died last year, four miles of trails connected Puget Sound to Hood Canal through preserved cedar, Douglas fir and red alder woods that provide homes for wildlife.
But Sid’s death didn’t end the Greenway expansion. When word got out last year that the Ridge at Buck Lake developer was willing to sell remaining undeveloped land, the Greenway was notified. The Greenway Association manages but doesn’t own land, so Ken got the Great Peninsula Conservancy’s support.
The generous Hansville community donated and pledged the $2 million needed to buy 100 acres. In January, the land became the newest part of the Greenway.
“Sid Knudsen would be pretty surprised,” Ken says. “We hit his primary goal, but I don’t think he ever thought we would add 100 acres.”
Ken, Howie O’Brien and Art Ellison served on the original Greenway committee that stewarded the land, managed the trail system and developed use guidelines. In January Howie and Art and other volunteers began laboring to build a connecting trail from the Greenway to the new section that offers views of Hood Canal and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. Dirt roads the developers had added before selling the property provided convenient links.
While work on the new section continues, Ken sees an opportunity to extend the Greenway to Cliffside Rd. Landowners have offered to donate narrow strips of land for trails. An agreement may be reached by the end of the year.
“It will be a neat trail,” Ken says, “The reward is getting to walk out there.”
April 28th—Jim, Marilyn, Susan, Howie and I ventured up to Post #6 and did a bit of work on the tree that had blown down. We filled in the hole by the roots and smoothed the trail. Also widened it a bit by cutting roots and dirt from the root wad. People had been going around the cedar next to the trail, so we put an old log and branches to discourage that. Saw three visitors on the trail while there.
What a great feature to have along the trail. As one wise person said: “Dead logs are far more living than live ones”.
May 19th, 7-8 p.m.—Decided to take an early evening walk in the Greenway. Walked while enjoying the sun just starting to get into setting mode. Noted healthy flowers growing along the trail.
May 16, 5-6 p.m.—55 degrees, calm wind. We walked in from Ponderosa to Lower Hawk’s Pond platform and back around Trillium Loop. Half hour of birding at the mostly sunny platform: A solo Black-headed Grosbeak serenaded us from right up above, while Red-winged Blackbirds, Bewicks Wrens, and Marsh Wrens, provided almost a constant chorus. Two Bald Eagles did a flyover. Yellow Pond Lillies are blooming, as well as the pink Western Bog Laurel. Look out to the right
from the platform to see the Bog Laurel in the distance. Quite a few trilliums still in bloom on the loop. A few minor muddy spots on the trail. Wonderful late afternoon walk.
Art is looking for help manning a Greenway booth at the Hansville HeArts & Crafts Show at Buck Lake Park on June 25 and 26. If you’re interested, contact Art at email@example.com.
March 27th – I went to check on the maps at Ponderosa today and noticed a couple of trilliums in bloom on the way to the map box. Walked a little farther onto the Trillium Loop and only saw one more in bloom, but there’s not as much sun there. They’re on the way. Van
March 30th – This afternoon we walked through the Chatham and Outback sections in a light rain. The trillium are just beginning, there are yellow violets in bloom, and the red flowering currant is already inviting hummingbirds. Marilyn
April 9th – Trilliums blooming reluctantly in cool weather. Peak is yet to come. Heard many Pacific Wrens on the way to the pond. At the pond saw three Canada Geese, a Pied-billed Grebe, Bald Eagle soaring, several Marsh Wrens, pair of Common Yellowthroats, a few Red-winged Blackbirds. Ken
April 20th – Many trilliums are blooming between #6 and #7. Near the platform at Lower Hawk’s Pond saw Pacific Wrens, Mallards, Redwing Blackbirds. Heard Common Yellowthroats, Marsh Wrens, Pacific Slope Flycatcher. In the forest north of the pond heard Black-throated Gray Warbler, Brown Creeper, Downy Woodpecker, Chestnut-backed Chickadees. (Ken)
The Hansville Community and Hansville Greenway Association have together been selected by Kitsap County Public Works and the Board of County Commissioners as a 2022 Earth Day Award winner, in recognition of making the 100-acre Greenway expansion a reality! There’s a lot to do to reclaim this land as a healthy forest and wildlife corridor, as well as to keep the pre-existing Greenway in shape. If you want to be included in these efforts, be sure to sign up with both the county (https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?AP=566670317&OR=1) and GPC (https://greatpeninsulaconservancy.salsalabs.org/hansvillegreenwayvolunteerform) as a volunteer. If you contact Art Ellison at firstname.lastname@example.org, he will add you to the lists where you can be notified of upcoming projects and/or receive and submit trail reports.
On Saturday, March 26, The Great Peninsula Conservancy (GPC) held the official ribbon cutting for the new 100-acre acquisition adjacent to the Ridge at Buck Lake development and adjoining the northwest portion of the Hansville Greenway.
There were about 50 people in attendance and GPC Executive Director Nate Daniel thanked all of the people involved in this project. He then led the group on a hike to the Olympic viewpoint where he explained the long-range plans to restore the habitat to benefit the wildlife and environment.
For those who have not been following this, a 100-acre parcel of land became available and, though the efforts of many volunteers and our wonderful community, enough money was donated to purchase it. GPC will hold title to the land and asked the Hansville Greenway Association to manage it as part of the Hansville Greenway.
By now most people know that the Great Peninsula Conservancy has purchased 100 acres adjacent to The Ridge at Buck Lake. Although this land was purchased by the GPC, it will be managed by the Hansville Greenway Association and treated as part of the existing Hansville Greenway.
We (the Hansville Greenway Association) have started work in making the new land accessible. We are in the process of constructing the “main” entrance to the new acquisition, a short distance west of post #3 on the current trail system. The first post, #40, was set on “Twosday—2/22/22.” Although the temperature was 29 degrees and it was snowing lightly, we braved the elements and got the job started.
The following day, we set the rest of the posts, #41 through #44, as well as the two viewpoint signs. A trail from the existing Greenway into the new land was pioneered a week or two ago. We will be getting crews together to construct this trail soon. If you have signed up to help, expect to be getting a call!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Joe Reichmuth for routing the numbers on the new sign posts.
The following photos were taken by Marilyn DeRoy, Howie O’Brien, and Art Ellison.
The Hansville Greenway grew this year when the Great Peninsula Conservancy closed on the sale of 100 acres that include land behind Driftwood Key and between The Ridge at Buck Lake and the current Greenway.
The campaign to acquire the land received 277 donations, including a generous bequest, to reach the $2.15 million purchase price.
While a celebration is in order, the work is really just beginning and the Greenway will need plenty of volunteers to get it done. The area was once forest and was logged. It was replanted with Douglas fir, and non-native species, like Scotch broom, moved in.
The Greenway Association will count on volunteers to remove non-native species and plant native trees and wetland vegetation. Volunteers will also help lay out trails, figure out numbering for sign posts, and install the posts. Work has already started on slashing brush for connector routes to established trails.
The new acreage will necessitate new Greenway maps as well as more trail stewards. Trail stewards walk their designated trail regularly and report problems, like fallen trees or flooding.
Volunteers will be needed for trail maintenance projects, like beating back brush, cutting fallen trees, and repairing bridges.
“There will be lots of opportunities to volunteer, get involved,” says Michael Szerlog, president of the Hansville Greenway Association board.
To sign up as a volunteer and receive notifications of work opportunities, visit https://hansvillegreenway.org/volunteering-in-the-greenway/.
The Hansville Greenway is about to grow, thanks to a generous bequest, reserved funds, and a flood of donations.
The idea was hatched in the summer of 2020 by Hansville neighbors Darcy Herrett, Ryan Ross, and Jane Jacobs who reached out to the Greenway about the possibility of purchasing the land south of the Ridge at Buck Lake. At the time, the Greenway only had $30,000 in reserves and did not see a path forward, however, in December 2020, the Greenway received a bequest from the estate of Joan Martin increasing funds to over $100,000. During a December 2020 Greenway Meeting, Ryan Ross and Jane Jacobs made another request for the Greenway to investigate purchasing these lands. Ken Shawcroft, one of the founders of the Greenway, and Michael Szerlog, the president of the Hansville Greenway Association, contacted Nate Daniel and Erik Steffens with the Great Peninsula Conservancy to set up a meeting to discuss this possible project. A virtual Zoom call on December 29, 2020, led to the start of a partnership between GPC, Hansville Greenway, and community members to set forward the Hansville Greenway West property acquisition project.
“We originally looked at 147 acres, but 47 were sold off,” Michael says.
Securing the remaining 100 acres for preservation and recreation use became a priority.
“It eliminates pressure to develop. There’s less traffic and more open spaces,” Michael says.
The acreage is behind Driftwood Key and includes a broad swath of land between The Ridge at Buck Lake and the current Greenway. The Greenway needed $1.8 million in pledges by the middle of November to show that buying the property is actually viable. Thanks to the team above, including neighbor Bryann Bingham and Katherine Tacke with GPC, they met the deadline and started focusing on the $2.15 million total they need to purchase the land by mid-January. They’re still accepting donations of any size.
The plan is to restore the area to its natural state. It was logged over the years and replanted with Douglas fir, a cash crop.
“We’ll remove all the non-native species,” Michael says. “It’s an opportunity to add diversity.”
Any extra funds raised will be used as seed money for grants for planting and establishing trails.
“There will be lots of opportunities to volunteer, get involved in trail maintenance,” he says. “There’s a lot to do down the road.”
But first they must cross the start line. To help with donations, visit greatpeninsula.org. Great Peninsula Conservancy is the financial partner of the Hansville Greenway.
In breaking news—Sid Knutson’s sons have told us that his memorial service is postponed indefinitely due to the latest Covid breakout. They will let us know when they plan it.
Retirement for Sid Knutson was an opportunity to pursue a dream, and all of Kitsap County benefitted.
“If it weren’t for Sid Knutson, the (Hansville) Greenway wouldn’t exist today,” says Ken Shawcroft, a retired engineer who worked hand in hand with Knutson on the trail system. “He had the vision and the ability to lead. It would not have happened without him.”
Sid Knutson died Nov. 2 at age 96, but the trail system named for him will live on for a long time. He was that rare person who took an idea from inspiration to completion and generated only gratitude in his wake.
After a career in the Corps of Engineers, Sid retired in Hansville and immediately recognized the priceless natural areas on Kitsap County’s northwestern tip. He started by buying 10 acres that eventually became a land trust, but his vision for the area quickly expanded. He visualized a trail system on protected land from Hood Canal to Puget Sound and worked for nearly 20 years to turn that vision into reality.
Sid worked with county and state officials, professionals of every sort and a crowd of eager volunteers, producing the necessary information and details for every step.
“He was really a good collaborator,” Ken says, “He figured out how to make it happen and was never pushy. He knew how to work with people.”
The result was about five miles of trails that wanders through forests of red alders, cedars and pines, past two protected beaver ponds, creeks and bird gathering sites and ends in the surf at Norwegian Point—the Sid Knutson Puget Sound to Hood Canal Trail. What a legacy.
The family has reserved the GHCC for a memorial service on Saturday, Jan 22 at 1:00pm.
By Cynthia Taggart
The deer and the dragonflies that dance through the Hansville Greenway’s Otter Meadow have Dennis Kommer to thank for their good health and happiness.
Dennis, who owns Dennis Kommer Excavating LLC, donates his time, energy and equipment year after year to mow and preserve the Greenway’s two meadows that provide food for wildlife.
“There’s very little animal life in the forest,” says Howie O’Brien, who’s in charge of projects for the Greenway Association, “The meadows allow grazing for deer. Small rodents nest there. Owls love to hunt in the meadows.”
Dennis spent an entire day in October mowing Otter Meadow, near the start of the trails by the Community Center, and Bear Meadow at the Greenway’s northwestern end. Decades ago, a farmer razed the forest to create the meadow for cattle grazing. When the land became the Hansville Greenway, the association chose to maintain Otter Meadow and Bear Meadow to give wildlife a chance.
That requires annual mowing, mostly to remove invasive blackberries, and digging out red alders that would take over the meadows in no time.
“Dennis can accomplish more in an hour than we could in a day,” Howie says. “Without him, it’s very difficult for us. He has the right equipment.”
Howie complements Dennis’s work with his own dedication to keeping the red alders in check. Dennis leaves patches of Douglas spirea in both meadows and that’s where the red alders wisely sprout. Howie now digs them out by the roots 40 or 50 at a time.
“A lot more life expresses itself in the meadows,” Howie says. “We thank Dennis for all his efforts.”
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