Illahee 5/25/16 Webcam, Illahee Store Meeting, Store Comments, Dog Attack Comments, Dog Park Needed, Fill-in Reporter?


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Webcam.  The webcam is up and operational and working fine.  There were issues with the processing computer which have been cleared up.  The webcam was getting 20 plus hits a day until the problems occurred and now it is single digits.  Some use it to check the weather when they are away from the area, so it may be that the lower spring/summer hits are because the snowbirds have returned.


Illahee Store Meeting.  We saw an email summarizing the meeting of the Illahee Community Club at the Illahee Store on Sunday evening, which read:

While there weren’t very many attending we looked from the outside at the store and property and decided to keep moving forward with the gathering of information.  

One of the concerns was financial, i.e., who would be incurring the costs for purchase, maintenance and upkeep?  But that discussion would be for later as there are many questions that need to be answered first, such as is the store even available to us and can it be converted into a community center?   

The good news is we are beginning the discussions, the bad news is there are lots of unknowns at this point that make it hard to know what the outcome will be, and for those who want to make it be part of Illahee’s 100th anniversary it will take some dedicated efforts to make it happen this year.  

We did have another Illahee resident who wants to help clean up around the store, and is looking at pressure washing the area.

Some Store Comments.  Mostly positive comments about trying to secure the Illahee Store for a Community Center, with some wondering about why the Port of Illahee isn’t involved.

Some Comments re the Dog Attack.  Lots of initial comments came in regarding the dog attach a few weeks ago so we have selected some representative ones. The last response is from the injured person who was responding to a request for more information.

Oh no! so sad! Glad everyone is going to be okay. I would be devastated if something like that happened to my lab, and I usually walk there with my toddler in a stroller too.

I am so sorry about the lady and dog.  I’ve lived in Illahee for over 15 years and only recently thought of cruising thru the preserve.  Have to say I would be armed.

Without being overly dramatic, this is why sensible people obtain a Washington Concealed Pistol License, then carry said pistol with them on dog walks.  My wife and I both have them.  No one likes to think of having to end a confrontation with a gunshot, but I submit that it is preferable to having your dog torn to pieces and yourself mauled trying to defend your dog and yourself from an out of control pit bull.  Versions of this story are repeated numerous times every year in Washington.  An untrained pit bull is little different from a wild tiger.

I’m sorry to hear the sad news of the dog attack to a person and her dog. Prior to this, I was close to sending an email to you voicing my concerns with off leash dogs at the preserve.
I go to the park once in a while to cycle, and walk with my 7 year old daughter.  I have seen dogs attack other dogs, right after I told the owner that she needs to leash her dogs.  I have been rushed and growled at with my daughter with me by off leash dogs until I grabbed a big stick and the owner finally got a hold of their collars, it was scary. A stick really would do nothing if the animal attacked.  To be honest I have been nearly bitten by a leashed dog as well when the owner didn’t expect, their dog lunged and chomped but fell short off getting me. I have also been bitten twice while cycling in other public hiking/cycling areas in the county. All while being polite and talking friendly when encountering them. 

I am seeing many, many off leash dogs, up to about 90% of them are off leash out there.  I have had many close calls in the preserve as well as other recreational areas in the county and see the same percentage… dog owners think they can simply call their dogs, or hold their collar and that’s not right because it doesn’t work. A high percentage of people say “Oh, she’s nice (the dog).” – As they bark at me or rush up to me.
I think action needs to be taken. The police should do a patrol (if even once a week or month) because they patrol every street for people doing anything wrong… why not protect people from animals where there is constant issues. They should give tickets, make some money and make a point.

People tell me they are afraid of the preserve being frequented by cyclists, but the place is already overrun with dogs, it’s a dog park now.
There’s my rant, I feel powerless to curtail the amount of dogs that are off leash but believe me I politely remind most people of the rules out there.

Thanks for sharing.  I’d like to say that off-leash dogs are a big problem in the preserve.   My husband has been nipped at twice and my Mother-in-law was nearly knocked over by an over-zealous dog.   When we remind people that leashes are required, we hear things like “everyone does it”, or “my dogs are friendly”.   It is a nature preserve, so allowing dogs to run loose disturbs the wildlife and the plants.   Your last line in your email saying that you hope “vicious dogs” will be kept on leash only scratches the surface. None of the owners think that their dog is a problem, and all should follow the leash laws to make it more enjoyable for all involved, including the other dogs. I believe everyone would be more comfortable if it was enforced. 

Jim forwarded us your request for any additional information about the dog and handler that attacked me on Tuesday, May 3rd, in the preserve. The dog was a large black Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix that may have had a small amount of white on the feet and possibly chest. I believe it to be a mix only because of it’s size. The dog was wearing what looked like a choke chain. Did not notice tags of any kind or hear jingling.

The handler was an African American male in his late 20’s or early 30’s. His hair was short, and he was clean shaven. He wasn’t wearing glasses of any kind. He was wearing dark pants, possible jeans, shirt and a vest. He was of average height and weight. I saw no distinguishing marks or tattoos. Appeared clean cut, and to be holding a leash or something in his hand.

The handler did not have any control of the animal. He called the dog by a name, but I was unable to make out that name. The dog did not come when called, in fact turned and went in the opposite direction. The handler chased after the dog, but was unable to secure the animal. The dog may have possibly been new to the handler. When the attack was happening the handler appeared fearful himself to reach for his dog by it’s collar or choke chain and pull it off myself and my dog. After the dog stopped the attack, which I’m not sure how that came about, he did return to help me up off the ground, but had still not secured his animal. I told him to leash his dog because I feared the dog would return and attack again. When I got up and saw that both myself and my dog were bleeding, I called to him, but he kept walking away and I never saw him again.

I don’t recall ever seeing this dog or handler in the preserve before this past Tuesday. I hope this will be of some help.

Dog Park Need.  There have been discussions about whether the former Eastside Auto Wrecking Yard could be obtained for a dog park.  Those sites are normally brown fields that are hard to reclaim for other uses.  After seeing the above comments, it might be time to see if a grant could be obtained to purchase it for a dog park. 

Fill-in Website Reporter Needed.  We are always looking for other contributors to this website, and especially when we are either busy with other things or out of town.  Let us know if you would like to help.

Jim Aho

Illahee 5/20/16 Photos, Options Agreement Ends, Grant Application, The Critique, Park Needed, Theme Ideas, Timeline, Illahee’s 100th Anniversay, Illahee Store, Community Meeting Sunday 7 pm

Photos.  Some photos around the community.

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Options Agreement Ends.  The Options Agreement to purchase the remaining 10.7 acres of the Timbers Edge project ended on May 15, 2016.  This was reported earlier as it was known in March that appropriation funding was not successful (the escrow process needed to begin in April to meet the May closing date).

Another Opportunity.  The good news is that there is another opportunity to secure most of the necessary funding, through a Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) grant, which the county is submitting.  The property owner, Mr. Jim Tallman, has agreed to give the community and the county more time to see if they can secure a grant.

Grant Application.  The grant application has been submitted and a technical review of the project occurred this past week, on Tuesday 5/17/16.  We found the Power Point presentation on the RCO website:  Below is a copy of their first slide.  It turns out the presentation is just a preliminary one that is critiqued before a final one is presented in August that will be ranked with all the other projects in the state.

PPT Cover Sheet

The Critique.  The technical review was important because the briefing, though good, did not cover what the evaluators were wanting to see for a local park category grant, i.e., a more concentrated focus on the features to be in the park than on what has already been accomplished with previous Preserve acquisitions.

Park Needed.  While the property provides the necessary public access, it is also ideal for a local park with features not provided anywhere else in the Preserve which is why the local park grant category was chosen.

Theme Ideas.  One of the things being looked at is coming up with a theme for the 10.7 acre park.  Only two theme suggestions so far: “Lost Continent Park” and “Homestead Park”.  Natural features such as rocks and logs are what was envisioned for the play area so if anyone has theme ideas, let us know.

Timeline.  The grant timeline now is to perfect the application and make changes to the presentation with the goal to have the project score high enough that funding will be essentially assured.  Even with a high score the property will need to be purchased before funding is distributed (June 2017) possibly needing a bridge loan.  We will try to keep track of the progress and keep everyone informed.

Illahee’s 100th Anniversary.  The Illahee Community was established in 1916 so this is the 100th anniversary.  The Port of Illahee has selected August 13th for Illahee Day, and Port Commissioner Cassie Magill is looking to the Illahee Community Club  to help with ideas of how the celebrate the anniversary.

Illahee Store.  Would the former Illahee Store building make a good Illahee Community Center?  It is roughly 50′ by 32′ or 1600 square feet.  Can the building be saved?  What does the local community want?

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Community Meeting Sunday 7 pm.  The Illahee Community Club (ICC) would like to meet on the store property to look at it to see what would need to be done to make it a Community Center and they set a date and time to do so:  Sunday (5/22/16) at 7 pm.  Anyone interested in the idea is encouraged to come.  If it is raining they will hold their discussion in the Port meeting room, lower level, across the street.

Jim Aho

Illahee 5/6/16 Dog Attack Update, Website Stats, Webcam, Audrey Boyer Memorial Service, Goslings Report, Great Give Results

Dog Attack Update.   We asked how everyone was doing after the dog attack at the Preserve on Tuesday.  Notices about the attack were posted on Thursday.

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The dog I was walking actually belongs to my daughter and her family. Mia is going back to the vet today for a bandage change and check to make sure her broken leg is healing correctly. I’m still very sore and changing bandages daily. A lot of swelling and bruising. Thank you for checking on us.
Website Stats.   Periodically we check website statistics and noticed webcam views were down, due to a loose connection problem, which was easily reconnected.  We thought you might be interested in what the site stat page looks like.
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Webcam.   It appears we still have a minor problem with the webcam, not with the current view, but with the recording of the current day.  It doesn’t seem to affect the posting of the previous day’s recording, which we took a snapshot of below.
Audrey Boyer Memorial Service.   A reminder of the Audrey Boyer memorial service on Saturday at 3 pm at the United Methodist Church in Brownsville.
Goslings Report.   We noted it was nap time in the photo of some local goslings, whose number has dropped from 6 to 5.
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Great Give Results.   Thanks for those who contributed to the Illahee Forest Preserve through the Great Give.  The results on the website are:
Jim Aho

Illahee 5/3/16 Dog Attack at Illahee Preserve

Visious Dog Attack Today.   “Visious” is my word after receiving the following information in an email tonight.

Here is information that transpired at the Illahee Preserve today at about 9:45 a.m.  
My wife was walking a medium size lab mix dog, on leash and was attacked by a large black pit bull or pit bull mix which was off leash.  
The handler, and I use the term loosely, was unable to control the dog either verbally or physically and was unwilling to attempt to stop the fight.  The man was approximately 30 years old, of medium build, and African American.  He would not give his name and left abruptly after the attack ceased.  
Our dog had it’s leg broken by the bite along with other wounds.  It survived after extensive veterinary treatment  My wife had multiple bite wounds in the legs and one on the shoulder.  She was knocked to the ground during the attack.  She was treated and released at an urgent care facility.  
The incident was reported to the health department by the doctor and vet.  It was also reported to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Dept.  
We hike in the Preserve frequently and have encountered many friendly dogs and handlers.  This attack was sudden and unexpected.  So, heads up to all of you who enjoy the tranquility of the Preserve.
We plan on making an enlarged copy of the above and post it on the kiosk.  If you know the individual whose dog did the attack it would be good to let the Sheriff’s Department know.  Up until this point we haven’t heard of incidents like this.  We hope by posting a notice people with viscous dogs will keep their dogs on leash.  
Jim Aho

Illahee 5/3/16 Great Give Deadline Extended, Bird Identity Corrected

Great Give Deadline Extended.   Because of technical errors with the donation website the deadline for Great Give giving has been extended until tomorrow (5/4/16) evening at 9 pm.  Below is what the website screen looks like when you get to the Illahee Forest Preserve.  The box on the screen don’t show anything being the Illahee Forest Preserve,  but we know that is wrong because we already received a receipt for our modest test contribution.  The link for contributing is below and it finally worked out well for us.

Bird Identity Corrected.   Thanks to Megan for pointing out we misidentified the bird below in our last update.  Our excuse is we rarely saw the bird until we got close to its next and snapped the photo, thinking it was the same bird, a black-capped chickadee, that nested close by last year.  The all black head tells us it is a dark-eyed junco.  Thank you Megan for pointing out our error, and for others, please let us know when you find an error like this.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 4/30/16 Baby Birds, Bird Calls, Grant Application Ready, Kitsap Great Give

Baby Birds.  Nesting birds are having their young and it will be interesting to see how many make it too adulthood.  We first saw the goslings on Friday.  Birds were using holes in an old apple tree but have not seen them since the squirrel appeared.  The small holes in the tree trunk are from a red-breasted sapsucker we saw a few days earlier checking out the holes previously made for insects.  The black-capped chickadee in the photo was concerned when we got close to its nest outside of a garage.   The baby robins in the nest in the rafters are getting regular feedings.  There is a white-crowned sparrow and a golden-crowned sparrow (in the photo below) hanging around together and we are wondering if they will be nesting or leaving in May as the bird books say most do.  If you have some baby birds or active nest photos we would like to share them in an update.

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Bird Calls.  Early on Thursday the loons were heard making their tell tale calls, and then a pheasant could heard on a trip to pick the paper, and when reading the paper a strange bird call was heard coming from the roof.  It was a bird call I didn’t recognize and went out and looked up as it looked down at me.  It was a California quail with the distinctive forward-facing plume hanging down from its head.  Wasn’t ready with a camera so hope someone can get a photo of one.  There used to be some big coveys of quail in the area years ago, but haven’t seen any recently until this single sighting.
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Grant Application Ready.  Earlier we reported an appropriation request from the state legislature was not successful.  Subsequently, the Kitsap County Parks Department is putting in a grant application with the RCO (Recreation and Conservation Office) to purchase the remaining 10.7 acres of the Timbers Edge Development.  We just got word the property owners, the Tallman’s, signed a Landowner Acknowledgement Form indicating they understand a grant will be submitted to purchase their property.  This was necessary because the Options Agreement to purchase the property was not completed because of the failed appropriation request.  There are still major funding issues because the grant (if successful) wouldn’t be funded for over 14 months, and interim funding will need to be found.  Also, the community will need to raise at least an estimated $50,000 toward the ~$800,000 purchase price. 
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Kitsap Great Give.  On Tuesday, May 3, will be an opportunity to support local charities, including the Illahee Forest Preserve as it attempts to expand the Illahee Preserve and save and preserve some of the unique natural features in the area.  Simply click on the attached link and go to the Illahee Forest Preserve page to contribute.
Jim Aho 

Illahee 4/25/16 Illahee Photos, TE Purchase Option Expires, Another TE Purchase Option?, Kitsap Great Give, Audrey Boyer Memorial Service, Preserve Work Parties

Illahee Photos.   Vibrant colors and the seasonal sightings of loons.

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TE Purchase Option Expired.   Without an appropriation and without benefactors the Options Agreement to purchase the remaining 10.7 acres has essentially expired.  The closing date is May 15, 2016 but the escrow process needed to start 30 days prior, which was April 15th.

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Another TE Purchase Option?   Kitsap County is pursuing a state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) grant to purchase the property, if the property owner will still consider selling with a later purchase date.  This is an ongoing process that needs to be resolved soon as the grant deadline is May 2, 2016. The Illahee Forest Preserve non-profit group is supporting the grant and is working to raise the anticipated $50,000 additional funds required for the purchase.

Kitsap Great Give Opportunity.   Kitsap’s Great Give is May 3rd and the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) is registered and in hopes of receiving donations during the campaign as there are additional funds that will be distributed depending on giving each year.  Last year there was a small but significant match which increases the size of donations.  This is a great opportunity to help the IFP and it is definitely needed at this time.

Audrey Boyer Memorial Service.  We just received word that long time Illahee resident Audrey Boyer died and that there will be a memorial service for her at the Brownsville United Methodist Church on Saturday May 7th at 3 pm.  Audrey was instrumental in saving the Illahee Preserve as you can see from the photo below and her obituary.


Audrey Boyer, age 97, died peacefully of natural causes on April 22 at her residence in Bellevue. Born Audrey Lucille Fredrickson in Toppenish, she majored in art at the University of Washington and taught school in Castle Rock and Burlington. She loved skiing and would head for Mount Baker and other Cascade slopes on weekends. She married Lyman Albert Boyer on June 19, 1942. They settled in Bremerton where he worked as a chemical engineer in the Navy Yard and she continued to teach school, completing her Master’s in Education as she worked. She taught fourth grade at View Ridge Elementary, and English, Yearbook, Drama and Debate at East High School.

She lived for 64 years in Illahee, where she was President of the Community Club, a Democratic Party precinct committee officer and a leader in many campaigns and causes, including Amnesty International. She worked persistently and wisely at living a simple, sustainable life. Her belief in the value of education led her to encourage and support many students in completing degrees in higher education. With her former student, Washington State Speaker of the House of Representatives Frank Chopp, and many allies in Illahee, she was instrumental in getting a large tract of forest saved as the Illahee Forest Preserve.

Audrey was predeceased by her husband Lyman and by daughter Virginia Boyer, and is survived by son David Boyer, daughter Helen Boyer, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, in Washington, Oregon, Minnesota and Wisconsin. We remember her for her love of family, her love of friends, her love of nature, her generosity, her artistry, her humor, her high ideals and her hard work. Her children send heartfelt thanks to Grace Alzheimers Home Care in Bellevue, for their excellent care in her most recent years. 

A memorial service and reception will be held at the Brownsville United Methodist Church, 8811 Illahee Road NE, on Saturday, May 7, at 3 PM. The family is pleased to invite all members of the community Audrey loved so much. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to support the Illahee Forest Preserve,, or Amnesty International,


Preserve Work Parties.   The first work party was the replanting of the rain garden plots at the Almira entrance to the Preserve.  The second set of photo’s is from last week’s work party (note the green shirts) with Starbucks with some of the employees coming from Seattle to help.

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Jim Aho

Illahee 4/11/16 Missing a Cat?, Spring Photos, Big One Presentation, Reference Materials, Appropriation Failed, RCO Grant, Port Meeting Wednesday, Wildlife Photos

Missing a Cat?  “The attached photo is of a cat that’s been coming around for the past week (6000 block of Illahee Rd).  First day it showed up it was skittish and hungry.  Since, it’s coat has been getting dirtier and she is more defensive;  maybe getting used to being outside.”  Let us know if this is your cat so you can be reunited.

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Spring Photos.  So many vibrant colors this spring it is hard to pick what photos to include.

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Big One Presentation.  What a great earthquake and preparedness presentation was put on by the Kitsap Sun at the Admiral Theater on March 29th.  We are slow on reporting the success and the fact that it was recorded and was going to be shown on BKAT.
Reference Materials.  The earthquake meeting was so well attended the few handouts they had quickly disappeared so the Kitsap Sun provided the following information in an email:

The Danger Below Us: Our Big One

Thank you for attending the Kitsap Sun’s “Our Big One” forum at the Admiral Theatre on Tuesday! 

Our panelists shared several links and helpful resources for preparing your home and neighborhood. In case you missed them, here are some that were mentioned.

• FEMA’s website: Visit for a broad range of information. To see resources on preparations for an earthquake and how to react during and after, visit download guides that show you how to protect various aspects of your home and property in an earthquake, visit

• Kitsap County’s Department of Emergency Management website:Visit for information on emergency preparedness provided by the county. To learn more about the Map Your Neighborhood program, click here For information on home retrofitting, visit To see a collection of resources on preparedness, visit

Kitsap County Liquefaction Susceptibility Map: One of our audience members wanted to see a map that showed the susceptibility of liquefaction in various parts of the county. Find the Washington State Department of Natural Resources map by clicking here.

Kitsap Sun “A Year of Prepping” graphic: For a copy of the graphic that we handed out at the event, click here.

For Kitsap Sun coverage: To read our series “Our Big One”and other earthquake coverage, visit

Appropriation Failed.   A request was submitted for appropriation funding from the State Legislature for help to purchase the remaining 10.7 acres of the Timbers Edge development.  It was a tough year for funding requests and like many others, it failed.
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RCO Grant.  The Plan B was to try and obtain a Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) grant if the appropriation attempt failed, and there are people working on it as part of The Lost Continent Project Phase II.  
Port Meeting Wednesday.  Just a reminder the Port of Illahee meets on Wednesday at 5 pm.  Also, on Monday the Port contractor was working on the inner float.
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Wildlife Photos.  Thanks to those sending in wildlife information and/or photos.  It is why so many people have asked to receive the updates by email, so they can keep up with the wildlife sightings.  We were remiss a few weeks ago about reporting a gray whale passing through and tried to get photos but it was mostly submerged and only spouted a few times, and were weren’t quick enough with the camera.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 3/28/16 Wildlife Photo, WYA Work Party, Earthquake Zone, Outfall Project, Information for an Update?

Wildlife Photo.  Not sure we have ever had a photo of a mouse in an update.  At the work party on Friday (described below) the cadets found a mouse and carefully moved out of the way to a safer area.  

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WYA Work Party.  Some 51 Washington Youth Academy cadets spent 7 hours each (357 hours total) on Friday spreading wood chips on trails, restoration plantings using plants removed from the reworked rain garden plots, and removing invasives, in this case Scotch Broom Sarothamnus scoparius from the Compass Circle meadow area.  Thanks to efforts like these and the coordination and supervision of the East Bremerton Rotary many say the Illahee Preserve has one of the best maintained trail systems in the county.  We were asked how many wheel barrows were used on Friday and the number was 42 with about 10 brought by Rotary members.  The rest are stored in the “go-mini” container provided and stored courtesy of United Moving and Storage.
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Earthquake Zone.  Most Illahee residents are aware the Seattle Fault line extends into Kitsap County and appears to go through the middle of Illahee and up Illahee Creek.  Some years ago when the USGS was studying the fault, one of the physicists who had a friend living in Illahee suggested she consider purchasing earthquake insurance.  More information about what should be done to prepare for the “Big One” is the subject of a presentation on Tuesday at the Admiral Theater.  See the information below from the Kitsap Sun.
Outfall Project.  Sunrise Terrance residents have probably noticed the survey markers indicating something is being planned for their area.  The Outfall Project covered in earlier updates is part of the project.  Developers need to make periodic progress on their permits and it appears something is being planned.  Let us know if you have information that we can pass on.
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Information for an Update?  We have been asked to include information in these updates and will do so but ask that the writeup be done by the requester.  Also, we recently had a criticism that the updates are not reflective of what they think of Illahee.  We are happy to include other views and thoughts and have done so in the past.  If you provide the information we will put in an Update.  The Updates were originally started by one of the Port Commissioners and myself as an opportunity to disseminate information about what was happening in Illahee and the surrounding area.
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/22/16 Photos, Preserve Story Walk, Work Party Friday, Wood Chips, Preserve Rain Garden, Restoration Plantings, Preserve Photos, Port Asbestos Abatement

Photos.  A male Common Golden Eye on the beach, Canada Geese on a roof, Malards at the Preserve’s detention pond.

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Preserve Story Walk.  A filled to overflowing parking lot on Saturday indicated lots of interest in the Illahee Preserve as 110 people joined the walk.  Josh Farley’s blog coverage and photos can be accessed at:

Work Party Friday.  Another major work party will occur this Friday (3/25/16) at the Preserve with the Washington Youth Academy cadets.  These work parties are coordinated by the East Bremerton Rotary and the plans are to get all the major work done before a busy summer season.
Wood Chips.  The goal with wood chips is to have all of these piles of chips on the trails by the end of the day.
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Preserve Rain Garden.  The rain garden are being reworked by Kitsap County to handle more runoff and will be planted soon with low profile native plants.  We took a picture of a concerned rufous-sided towhee who was soon to loose his home to the work.
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Restoration Plantings.  The plants that were removed are being salvaged for other uses, with a number of them being transferred to restoration areas within the Preserve.
Preserve Photos.  The first two are of storm damage.  The small flowers are from an Indian Plum with the last photo of the 500 year old Douglas fir tree that was one of the stops during the Story Walk mentioned earlier.
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Port Asbestos Abatement.  Awhile back while at the Illahee community dock we noticed an abestos abatement going on in the uninhabited floors of the former Deitch house and asked to see where the asbestos was.  Turns out it was in a tiled over orange flooring in a bathroom (the first photo) and a small area of cement board in the overhead of an outside area (the second photo).  It is nice to see this proactive action by the Port to find and remove asbestos in its properties.
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Jim Aho