North Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Commissioner Gelder's Spring Newsletter
Commissioner Gelder with legislators, conservationists, Pope Resources & outdoor enthusiasts at the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park acquisition celebration

Port Gamble

Port Gamble meeting

On April 13, a great celebration took place at the Port Gamble Pavilion to acknowledge the final acquisition of property for the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park earlier this year. After a walking tour through the forest, a wonderful ceremony marked nearly a decade of work by the community, elected officials, state agencies, conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts. The event was an opportunity to thank all those who worked so hard for so long to make this once-in-a-century land preservation possible. After a welcoming ceremony with members of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, supporters shared their appreciation of the passion, dedication and perseverance that maintained momentum during the arduous fundraising campaign and negotiations. With a combination of state grants, county funds and local sponsorships and donations, the result is a heritage forest that will be enjoyed for generations to come while preserving important wildlife habitat.

Port Gamble

With property acquisition behind us, momentum continues to move forward with planning a Sound-to-Olympics Trail. Plans call for the trail to extend westward through the Port Gamble Heritage Park across the Hood Canal Bridge and onto the Olympic Discovery Trail that stretches across the Olympic Peninsula, and eastward connecting to the King County system, eventually to the John Wayne Pioneer Trail that crosses Washington state into Idaho. Kitsap County Public Works introduced a feasibility study and preferred route for the Sound-to-Olympics Trail at a well-attended meeting in Kingston on March 28.

The segment of the Sound-to-Olympic Trail running through the Port Gamble park will be about seven miles long and paved to meet federal standards for shared-use paths, which also qualifies the project for federal grants in the future. The preferred route will use existing logging roads, greatly decreasing further impacts on the forest and construction costs. For more information on the trail, to review maps and the feasibility study, and to sign up for project updates, visit

Construction Season is Starting!

With warmer, drier weather on its way, the Kitsap County’s Public Works Department is gearing up for some major projects in North Kitsap. The construction work will delay traffic periodically but when complete, there will be improved traffic flow, safer pedestrian and cyclist routes, and improved stormwater management.


Ridgetop Boulevard NW A lot of people think of Ridgetop Boulevard as part of Central Kitsap, which is true for the school and fire districts, but the area north of Waaga Way (State Route 303) falls within the boundary of the North Kitsap commissioner district. A major three-phase improvement project on Ridgetop will address traffic capacity and pedestrian safety issues and include the installation of improved stormwater facilities, an additional southbound lane from Hillsboro Drive to Waaga Way, a 10-foot sidewalk on the east side, and two small roundabouts at the intersections of Ridgetop Boulevard with Marigold Drive and Quail Run Drive. Construction started April 16 and is scheduled to finish in February 2019. For more information, visit

Suquamish Way Suquamish Way improvements got underway on April 16 between Division Avenue and Hyak Lane. A five-foot shoulder and bike lane will be added to the north side of the road, and a six-foot sidewalk will be installed on the south side. This is a well-travelled route between Suquamish Tribal headquarters and the downtown waterfront. The contractor will not work during Chief Seattle Days or Tribal Journeys, to avoid impacting those events. For more information, or to sign up for updates on this project, visit

Washington Boulevard The final design is being completed for a section of Washington Boulevard in downtown Kingston between Central Avenue and Second Street, with constructionscheduled to begin in 2019. The project was identified in the 2016 Kingston Complete Streets study, and is part of the implementation of that plan. Improvements will include added pedestrian lighting, sidewalks and stormwater facilities. Public Works is coordinating the project and timing with the Port of Kingston as it begins work on a new park and other improvements adjacent to the ferry holding lanes. The port expects to wrap up its project in August 2018. For more information on the Washington Boulevard corridor improvements, click here. To learn more about the Port of Kingston’s park, click here.

Business Spotlight: Scratch Kitchen 360

Formerly known as Bella Luna Pizzeria, Scratch Kitchen 360 has moved north to the charming Port Gamble General Store café, next to stunning views of the beautiful Port Gamble Bay! Scratch Kitchen has tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Quickly becoming a breakfast hotspot, Scratch Kitchen’s menu boasts a broad range of hearty specialties such as crab cake eggs benedict, corn beef hash, brioche French toast, and mimosas. They use as many local and organic ingredients as possible, such as organic vegetables from Butler Green Farms, kombucha and kraut from Iggy’s and more.

Scratch Kitchen’s name emphasizes owner Lisa Ledbetter’s philosophy to make as much as possible from scratch since she believes homemade, fresh food is better. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. Lisa also points out that not many people know there is ample outdoor seating, fresh dinner options such as locally caught seafood, and 24 beers on tap, 20 of which are local to the Olympic Peninsula. In addition, they now offer a paint-and-sip evening on the last Thursday of every month and Sunday night trivia events. After filling up at Scratch Kitchen, head to the trails at the nearby Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park to burn off some of the calories!

Scratch Kitsap, located in the back of the Port Gamble General Store, 32420 Rainier Avenue NE
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday, and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (summer hours).
Event announcements are posted on their Facebook page at:
The menu is available online at

Scratch Kitchen


As the Puget Sound area and Kitsap County continue to grow, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) and local agencies continue to prepare for the future. PSRC is updating its guide for growth, known as VISION 2050. The goal of VISION 2050 is to plan for future needs while sustaining a healthy environment, thriving communities, and strong economy. The PSRC is made up of officials from King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties along with cities, towns, ports, state and local transportation agencies and tribal governments within the region. Together, they identify issues and challenges the region will face and then create a vision, growth strategy and goals to be achieved by 2050.

By 2050, the population of the Puget Sound region is projected to grow by about 1.8 million people with the addition of 1.2 million jobs. To accommodate the increased population, approximately 830,000 new homes will be needed. Planning for the growth is essential to maintain the quality of life and healthy natural resources we enjoy. As the Baby Boomer generation continues to retire in large numbers, senior citizens are estimated to comprise 18 percent of the population in 2050. Our region needs to be prepared for to meet the shifting needs of our citizens and expanding infrastructure while sustaining economic vitality.

The VISION 2050 update is ongoing. To learn more about regional planning, 2050 forecasts, data trends and growth strategies, go to


Check Out Commissioner Gelder’s Latest “Commissioner’s Corner”

Vibe Coworks filming

Commissioner Gelder’s most recent “Commissioner’s Corner,” a half-hour television program produced and aired on the local public access television station, BKAT, highlights VIBE Coworks in Poulsbo, a shared workspace and co-working community. The business is building a new flagship location on 8th Avenue in Poulsbo to provide expanded meeting and event space, private offices and the perks of a professional office environment for self-employed and remote workers to utilize. There will be community meeting rooms available to lease and opportunities for professional networking. In the episode, Commissioner Gelder interviews VIBE founder and owner Alanna Imbach to learn more about the workspace and opportunities for businesses and non-profits in North Kitsap. Watch this episode and view the archive of “Commissioner’s Corner” programs at

Earth Day Awards

Earth Day 2018

Each year, the County Commissioners each present an Earth Day Award to a business or organization in their district. This year, the awards were presented as a surprise, with the commissioners and staff from Public Works handing out balloons and flowers as a surprise to the recipients. Commissioner Gelder, along with the Kitsap County Public Works Solid Waste Division, honored Kris Libby and Gail Halsavor of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce. They lead the Kingston area’s Adopt-a-Road cleanup efforts and the Community Beautification Committee of the Chamber.

Kris and Gail started twice-yearly clean-up events in Kingston even before the county offered Adopt-A-Road assistance in 2011. In 2017, they removed over 22 cubic yards of organic debris and garbage from roadways, medians, ditches and public spaces.

The Kingston Beautification Committee meets the 4th Monday of each month, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Village Green Community Center. The public is welcome to help keep Kingston beautiful.

Port Gamble Sewer Project

Port Gamble Sewer Project

Each year, wastewater treatment plants in Kitsap County send billions of gallons of treated wastewater to Puget Sound and Hood Canal.  Besides discharging to those marine bodies, it removes significant quantities of water from Kitsap’s freshwater system.  With the advent of new wastewater treatment technology, this is beginning to change as we can now restore and retain more freshwater resources.

Last September, a new wastewater treatment facility, known as the Port Gamble Resource Recovery Facility, was unveiled in Port Gamble, paid for by Olympic Property Group with assistance from the Washington State Department of Ecology. The new plant utilizes membrane bioreactor technology to treats wastewater to drinking water standards and then discharge it to a large, upland drain field.  By removing the old wastewater plant’s marine outfall, 90 acres of previously closed shellfish beds will be open for harvesting.  Additionally, by infiltrating the treated water back into the ground, the new plant helps recharge the local aquifer and support local stream flow.

Learn more about this state-of-the-art facility at