South Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

South Kitsap Commissioner Newsletter

Discover Coulter Creek Heritage Park

Coulter Creek sign

On a recent sunny day, Commissioner Garrido ventured into one of the gems of the Kitsap County Parks system – Coulter Creek Heritage Park. This is one of the least known parks in the County, and is one of the biggest at almost 1200 acres. Kitsap County’s forester, Arno Bergstrom, joined Commissioner Garrido to explore the park and review some of its features for a taping of Commissioner’s Corner, which can be viewed here.


The land now known as Coulter Creek Heritage Park was owned by the McCormick family for many years. Much of it was used for logging, so portions were replanted with Douglas Fir trees, limiting the diversity that characterizes a healthy forest. Other parts are more ecologically diverse, with a variety of mature second growth trees. Some of the land was also a Christmas tree farm, and the trees have continued to grow, though do not function as a natural and diverse forest.


Fortunately, individual citizens, biologists and foresters collaborated to create a forest stewardship plan to address the long-term health of the park and the forests, streams and wildlife habitat. A planning process will be launched to manage the park for open space, wildlife habitat, public access and recreation. Commissioner Garrido and Kitsap County invite volunteers who would like to be a part of this unique opportunity as stewards of Coulter Creek Heritage Park. If you want to volunteer, please visit the Parks Department volunteer page. Or, visit the park by traveling on trails leading from McCormick Woods, as well as Sunnyslope and Lake Flora Roads.

Filming BKAT at Coulter creek

Filming a Commissioner’s Corner episode with the BKAT crew.

Lodging Tax Recommendations

In late September, the Board of County Commissioners approved the distribution of $510,000 collected from lodging tax in Kitsap County. The four percent lodging tax is levied on hotels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, RV parks and similar overnight accommodations. This tax can only be used to support marketing and operations of tourism-related facilities, and is meant to put “heads in beds” throughout Kitsap County.


Although $510,000 was available in 2018, there were seventeen submittals requesting $741,164 in funds. The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC), which is chaired by Commissioner Garrido, reviewed the requests. In addition to the commissioner, two members are appointed from businesses that collect the tax, and at least two members must be involved in activities that can be funded by the tax.


The chart below displays the organizations that requested lodging tax money, the amount of the request and the amount awarded to them as recommended by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. Congratulations to all the applicants and thank you for your interest in the program!


2019 Lodging Tax



Admiral Theatre



Bainbridge Island Museum of Art



Bremerton Symphony Association



Cascade Writers (Withdrawn)



Fathoms O’ Fun



Great Peninsula Conservancy (Clear Creek Trails)



Kingston 4th of July Celebration



Kingston Chamber of Commerce



Kitsap County Historical Society & Museum



Make Music Day



North Kitsap Tourism Coalition



Pacific Northwest Golf Association



Roxy Bremerton Theatre



Silverdale Chamber of Commerce



Visit Kitsap Peninsula



WA State Science & Engineer Fair



Wayzgoose Kitsap Arts Festival



Allocation Total:



Payment for North Kitsap Events Center







Proposals can be submitted for next year starting July 15, 2019. For more information about the Lodging Tax or the Advisory Committee, visit the LTAC page or contact Lee Reyes at 

New Explorer Trail at South Kitsap Regional Park

Welcome to the Neighborwood
Explorer Trail

South Kitsap Regional Park is now home to a Forest Explorer Trail! The trail, largely funded by a grant from the National Recreation and Park Association and the Walt Disney Company, opened to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 8.


The 1/3-mile trail, called “Boomer’s Explorer Trail,” has interactive features that encourage learning about nature and physical activity, including a compass, stepping stones, a hole climb, and more. A Welcome to the Neighborwood map is available to guide visitors to the sites. A sign at each location explains the feature and activity associated with it, with narration by Boomer the Mountain Beaver.


Thank you to the many local businesses and groups contributing funding and volunteer labor to the trail. These include the Port Orchard Rotary, Columbia Bank, South Kitsap High School track team and Marcus Whitman Middle School.

Manchester Community Open House

Vision of Manchester

Commissioner Garrido and the Manchester Citizens Advisory Committee (MCAC) welcomed community members to an open house at Manchester Elementary School on October 2. Visitors learned about projects in the Manchester area and information on various organizations that serve the area. The Manchester Fuel Depot, South Kitsap School District, League of Women Voters, Manchester State Park, Friends of the Library, the Port of Manchester and the Manchester Community Association participated to raise awareness of their organizations and converse with people about projects, issues and events coming up. Representatives on hand from Kitsap County government were from the Sheriff’s Office, Public Works, and the Department of Community Development.


The MCAC serves as a forum for community discussion and facilitates communication between Manchester residents and Kitsap County. Meetings are on the first Tuesday of every month at the Manchester Library at 6:30 pm. If you are interested on serving on the committee, there are current openings for representatives from the California and Nebraska neighborhoods, as well as one at-large position. For more information, visit the MCAC web page or contact Jennifer Haro at or (360) 307-4212.


Commissioner Garrido talks with Frank Gilbert, an MCAC member representing Friends of the Manchester Library

New Artwork at Qaqad Park in Manchester

Ququad Salmon

If you have visited Qaqad Park – the stormwater park across from the Manchester Grill – you may have noticed new metal salmon art gracing the fountain feature in the northwest corner of the park. Those beautiful salmon were created by Kitsap County Public Works employees David Lind and Adrian Eckstrom specifically for the park. The three salmon sculptures complement the salmon etched on the concrete in the park, as well as remind visitors of what the stormwater park is all about – cleaning up the Puget Sound.


Commissioner Garrido visited Adrian and David in their shop at the Public Works Annex on October 22 and got to see how they create their art. The county is lucky to have talented employees that can create such stunning art. Please visit Qaqad Park to see for yourself. If you haven’t visited before, you will learn how this beautiful public space filters stormwater flowing into Puget Sound to benefit salmon and all the other wildlife living in the Sound.

Thank you

Homes for All Update

Homes for All logo

The planned village of small cabins for people who have no home is moving along. The village, which will be located on property owned by the Church of Christ just outside of Port Orchard, hosts­­14 tiny house cabins, with a shared bathroom/shower/laundry facility and a kitchen and gathering space. There will also be a security checkpoint, secure case management office, and a small storage building.


The Homes for All Coalition is finalizing site design details with an engineering firm that volunteer their services. Additional functions include parking, a community garden space, a walking path in the “village,” and a pet sanitation area. A generous donor has agreed to supply sprinkler systems for the cabins, which will be installed by South Kitsap Fire & Rescue. The case management and property management details are being finalized as well.


A series of four public meetings held across the county helped to inform interested citizens of the efforts underway on this unique solution to house some of the county’s most vulnerable residents. For more information, visit the Homes For All website.