Illahee 3/25/15 Blossoms, Thursday Planning Meeting, Friday Work Party, Tuesday Developer Meeting, Rotary Club Appreciation, Beach Education Classes

Blossoms.  The first photo is several weeks old and is of an apricot tree.

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Thursday Planning Meeting.  Help is needed to figure out how to plan and run a Capital Campaign.  Last Thursday we began brainstorming on what we need to do to accomplish a very big task, i.e. figure out how we can raise enough funds to purchase the Timbers Edge development properties.  We will be meeting every Thursday (until further notice) at 5 pm at the Pacific Planetarium at 817 Pacific Ave in downtown Bremerton and can use any ideas or help anyone can provide.  If you can’t attend, maybe you have some ideas — please let us know as the clock is counting down and soon our 5 months to raise the funds will be 4 months as the start date was 3/8/15.
Tuesday Developer Meeting.  On Tuesday (3/31/15) the community will have an opportunity to meet with John Johnson, the developer who has been given the task to either sell the property to the community or develop it.  John would rather the community purchase the property, but he also needs to be ready to develop it if they fail to raise the funds to purchase it.  He will share the plans they have to develop it at its approved density or at a reduced density should the community purchase all but the Avery Homestead.  Of course the goal for the community is to purchase all the properties so there would be no development.  The meeting is at 6:15 pm on Tuesday at the Sylvan Way Library. (The map below has been presented before but new people access our website and have been added to the email list so it is shown again.)
contributions-map-20141208 (1)
Friday Work Party.  Another large work party is planned for Friday (3/27) with the Washington Youth Academy.  This is an all day event that should take care of all the remaining wood chip piles, plus lots of other tasks as we get ready for another year of growing popularity of the Illahee Preserve.  Below is a photo of a new batch of chips at Trail Marker #12, just where they are needed. 
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Rotary Club Appreciation.  Thanks again to the Rotary Club of East Bremerton for coordinating these events and for helping make the Preserve such a great attraction for so many people!!!!
Beach Education Classes.  One of the best classes around is the Beach Naturalist Class that is offered only once a year and it begins on April 9th.  Illahee has over 3 miles of some great shorelines and access points to get to them.  Details of the class are:

Explore the Wonders of Puget Sound with Kitsap Beach Naturalists 

 WSU Kitsap Extension and UW SeaGrant proudly present the 2015 Beach Naturalist training, which is open to the public. If you want to learn more about marine life and local water issues while exploring beaches, then this is the class for you!

 When: Thursday evenings April 9 through May 14 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Where:  Poulsbo Marine Science Center

Who: Adults and teens are welcome to attend. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: Cost for 6 weeks is $65. Scholarships are available.

 Surrounded by water, the Kitsap Peninsula is an amazing place to learn about and enjoy sea life. Over the course of six evening classes and a variety of field trips, we’ll learn about sea stars, clams, crabs, and other cool critters as well as seaweeds and plants that live on our beaches. We’ll also discuss Salish Sea oceanography and shoreline living, conservation, and restoration.

 After the training, trainees can choose to volunteer in exciting service projects, which include beach explorations, local community events and service projects that help protect and enhance Kitsap shorelines. 

 For more information visit WSU’s website at http// or register online at

Jim Aho


Illahee 3/18/15 Wildlife Photos, Work Party, Timbers Edge Progress, TE Purchase Campaign Meeting, Pledge Form, More Details Later, Wood Chips Needed

Wildlife Photos.  A couple of deer and pheasant photos, with one catching a pheasant walking by a couple of deer.  

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Work Party.  If you haven’t walked the trails lately in the Illahee Preserve, now is a good time to see all the work that has been done recently putting wood chips on the trails.  The effort is labor intensive but when you realize the chips keep the trails looking nice for years it is worth the extra work.  Thanks to the Washington Youth Academy for all their help and the East Bremerton Rotary for coordinating the work parties.
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Timbers Edge (TE) Progress.  Another success story is a signed Revised MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) outlining the details of purchase agreement for 25-36 acres of the Timbers Edge properties.  It was signed on 3/8 and delivered on 3/9 by the Illahee representatives, and then signed by the property owner and developer on 3/12, with two date changes, that were quickly accepted and delivered back on 3/13.  This allowed a major grant application to the Birkenfeld Trust to be submitted on 3/16, followed by a briefing to the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee on 3/17 and to the KC Parks Advisory Board on 3/18/15.
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TE Purchase Campaign Meeting.  With all the preparatory work completed, it is time to begin planning for a Capital Campaign to raise the money.  This will take a community effort and more and they are soliciting help from any and everyone who thinks they can help.  The first planning meeting is Thursday (3/19) at 5 pm at the Planetarium, 817 Pacific Ave, Bremerton.  If you have questions about the meeting please call 479-1049.
Pledge Form,  Below is a copy of the pledge form being used to raise the money.
Pledge Form 
More TE Details Later.  This is a fast moving target as the funds need to be raised within 5 months for the 25 acres and 7 months for the 36 acres.  More details after we attend the planning meeting on Thursday.
Wood Chips Now Needed.  Several months ago we reported there were too many wood chips, and then we found out they were being dumped in the wrong places.  This pile was dumped less than 24 hours after the previous pile had been cleaned up.  But with the help of the Washington Youth Academy cadets it was placed on Preserve trails on Friday 3/13/15.  With another work party scheduled for March 27th more wood chips are needed, but only at specified locations.
Tree Service Watch Help Needed.  If you see a tree service with a wood chipper, please let them know the Illahee Preserve needs chips at Trail Heads #12 and #1 along Thompson Lane.  If they have any questions have them call 479-1049 or 649-1049.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 2/28/15 Blossoms, Mail Found, Meeting Notices, Dead Cormorants, COASST Report

Blossoms.  Spring has definitely sprung.

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Mail Found.  Someone is missing some important mail.  This was “found on the side of the road above 4760″ but they didn’t include the name of the road.  Could be Fir Drive or Illahee Road.
Meeting Notices.  We have been asked to note some upcoming meetings, and we are late with the first one that began on Saturday. 
The 2015 Kitsap Antique Show is this weekend at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. Expert Appraisers will be on site to appraise  antique or family heirlooms for only $5 per item! A variety of dealers will also be on hand selling everything from the finest antiques to wonderful collectibles.  This event is an annual fundraiser for the Kitsap Historical Society and the Puget Sound Genealogical Association. 
 kitsap antique show
The second one is also recommended as Paul Dorn is especially familiar with Illahee Creek.
The next meeting of the Manette History Club is this coming Tuesday, March 3, at the  Manette Community Church at 1137 Hayward Avenue, Bremerton.  The time is 1 pm. our speaker is Paul Dorn, Senior Suquamish Tribal Biologist, speaking on Small Stream Enhancement.
Dead Cormorants.  The number of eagles seems to have increased recently and they seem to like to feast on cormorants.  This young eagle is a new regular who a neighbor saw get the cormorant in the second photo.
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We noticed the remains of these two cormorants on Thursday.
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COASST Report.  Coastal Observation And Seabird Survey Team or COASST walks are conducted monthly in Illahee.  Using the COASST Field Guide we were able to identify the remains above as a Double Crested Cormorant from its wing size and wing feathers. The reporting form is shown below.
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Jim Aho 

Illahee 2/18/15 Spring Flowers, Fruit Tree Suggestions, Preserve Camp, ICC Meeting Minutes. Quote, TE Purchase Pledge Form

Spring Flowers.  Not only do these add color to our neighborhoods, but also to updates.

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Fruit Tree Suggestions.  Thanks for all the responses regarding what kind of fruit trees to plant.  Below are the recommendations:
For the fruit growers….  There is a local group that meets called the Peninsula Fruit Club.  They may be best to ask.  The stores around town tend to sell fruit trees that do well across the nation, but not here in the Puget Sound.    Here is a link to the Facebook page. fruit club is holding a grafting show on March 14th.   They can purchase their trees and rootstock at the grafting show that will do well in Illahee.
I would not recommend Cherry unless you can plant many of them.  One tree will be a raccoon’s home base in May/June when there are no other fruit trees available. They will start eating when they are very green and you will have very little left to pick for the 4th of July.
Encourage your fruit tree seeking young couple to investigate old varieties of plum, Apple, cherry and peach.  Even taking cuttings and starting them from scratch.  I so mistrust Gmo infiltration in to everything we might invest.  Have them seek out older homesteads and older homes with old trees.
In regard to fruit trees, about 5 years ago we planted bare root Graven stein apple, Bartlett pear, cherry, and frost peach.  I would not do another cherry due to the birds.  The pear in this area gets a brown scab, but grows well and is good tasting.  Apple does well.  Frost peach is our favorite.  Very good fruit.
pass along to those wanting fruit trees (I was just thinking about this last night) Asian (or Korean) Pears grow VERY well in the Candy cane lane zone to the south of the park. I don’t know where you would find this tree, but the fruit is a bit like a pear and very very sweet. I have a plum tree which really produces too, as well as a Rainier cherry tree. Alas the birds usually beat me to the cherries! Apples don’t do well for me because we are infested with bugs and I don’t want to spray (being organic around here)
Jim, this is a flyer for the Peninsula Fruit Club’s Spring Grafting show.  Please forward it to the person wanting to plant some fruit trees.  Our ‘experts’ will be glad to help in any regard … and we will have lots of fruit trees for much, much less than any of the box stores.
Hey, Jim. Enjoy your posts. For that young couple, there was a legendary Bing cherry tree one house up from the store to the south (maybe still there) that had a rich yield every year. My mom’s fig and pear trees always did well.
My suggestion is an Italian plum.  They don’t get real big which is nice around a garden.  They grow quickly and produce lots of plums.  We have found they can be dried easily and eaten all year long. 
Preserve Camp.  These are what we don’t like to see in the Preserve.  A camp with needles!  It was posted and we need to check back to see if it is vacated, but even then they never clean them up.
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ICC Meeting Minutes.  Attached are the draft minutes from the Community meeting held last week.  Note the costs associated with a pressurized sewer line going through historic Illahee, which the Illahee Preserve group hopes will motivate residents to help purchase the Timbers Edge development.  
Minutes pg1
Minutes pg2
Quote for the Timbers Edge Purchase Campaign.  We just saw this come through on an email and think it applies to the community trying to raise money to purchase Timbers Edge.
“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.”  Robert Jarvik
TE Pledge Form.  Below is the new pledge form for those who would like to see how things are progressing before contributing.  It does two things (1) it allows the giver an opportunity to indicate financial support and hold on to their money until a purchase is eminent, and (2) it allows the Preserve non-profit group to track the funding support to make sure the purchase will take place.  It has been said this is truly a once-in-a-life-time opportunity, to help complete and establish a ‘Forested Central Park’, and a Wildlife Preserve, all surrounding a salmon stream.  
Pledge Form
Jim Aho

Illahee 2/15/15 Early Spring, Preserve Work Party, Fruit Tree Question, Meeting Report

Early Spring.   So many photo opportunities with our early spring.  Here are two with the last being of rhubarb starting to emerge.

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Preserve Work Party.   What do you do when you have too many wood chips?  
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Answer:  You ask for help from the Washington Youth Academy (WYA).  
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This event happened faster than we could react to it.  The week prior the work party was cancelled because of the heavy rains, and then it was quickly rescheduled for Friday (2/13). Thanks to the East Bremerton Rotary Club for their coordination of these events, which incidentally includes arranging for a port-a-potty (required for all day events), which is provided by Jim Fox of Cool Car Classics (which meets on the first Tuesday the months of April to September at Shari’s on SR 303).
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Trail maintenance was one of the WYA projects as increased usage of the Preserve has worn down some of newer perimeter trails, exposing roots which then become tripping hazards. This required building up the trail around exposed roots, which are then covered with wood chips.  
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Another project was to help try and control Scotch Broom, a highly invasive plant that flourishes in the NW, especially around clearing areas.  This pile was pulled in the Compass Circle meadow area.
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Fruit Tree Question.   We were asked about recommended trees and thought it best to query others.  Any suggestions for this young couple?
We are in the process of deciding which fruit trees to grow in our garden.  Do you have any recommendations for fruit varieties that do well in the Illahee micro-climate?  We are considering apple, pear (for sure Asian, maybe European), peach, and cherry.  Also, do you know much about the types of rootstock that are well suited to our soil and weather?
Meeting Report.   There were a number of people who couldn’t make the Illahee meeting this past Monday and they have requested a report.  They used the attached PowerPoint slides.  We will try to get a copy of the meeting minutes for more details.
Slide 1
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Page 7
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Jim Aho

Illahee 2/6/15 Flowers, Monday Community Meeting, Sewers, Timbers Edge Purchase, Stennis/Dock Photo, Enhanced Ditch

Flowers.   Feels like Spring with the warm temperatures and flowers emerging.
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Monday Community Meeting.   A community meeting is being held at the Library on Sylvan Way on Monday (2/9/15) at 6:15 pm to discuss community issues, including the option to purchase Timbers Edge, and to answer the many questions regarding sewer plans for Illahee.

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Sewers?   Are there plans for sewering Illahee?  What are the costs, installation and monthly?  Kitsap County Public Works personnel will be there on Monday to answer questions.
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Timbers Edge Purchase?   Lots of questions coming in regarding the possible purchase of Timbers Edge, especially after the Kitsap Sun front page coverage a couple of weeks ago.  Updated information will be shared on Monday evening.
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Stennis/Dock Photo.   A high tide photo of the Illahee Community dock with the John C Stennis in the background.  Photo taken this morning (2/6/15).
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Enhanced Ditch Working.   Nice to see all the stormwater flowing smoothly in the enhanced ditches recently installed.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 1/28/15 Unwanted Chips, Report Chip Dumpers, Blowdown Cleared, Messy Camp Sites, Prowler Report, Dead Seabird Report, Egg Casings, Pheasant Beach Walker

Unwanted Chips.  Seems like recently one or more tree companies have decided to dump their wood chips at the Illahee Preserve.  Years ago we asked for wood chips to cover the trails, and now we can’t stop them.  It takes lots of hours and effort to move the chips to the trails, and it will take an army to distribute all these.  

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Report Chip Dumpers.  Please report anybody you see dumping chips!!  Call Parks or the number for the Illahee Forest Preserve, our non-profit supporting the Preserve, at 360-479-1049.

Blowdown Cleared.   Early Sunday morning the downed trees blocking trails were removed by Rotary and Preserve volunteers.  Thanks to those who volunteer their time, energy, and chain saws!!!!
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Messy Camp Sites.   As if downed trees aren’t enough for volunteers to take care of, we found some really messy camp sites that need to be cleaned.  We often find needles and feces which make cleanup difficult, and sometimes Parks will have special cleanup crews come in.
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Prowler Report.  And continuing with problems, here is a report that came in a few days ago and was posted on Facebook.
“Just before 5:00 am this morning. There was an SUV prowling in the neighborhood. They drove west on NE 1st and saw my car was running so they slowed down then turned around in driveway and came back down the block slowly. When they saw me pulling out of my driveway they sped up and went South on Rest. As I drove by Rest I saw them turn around again. I drove back by and didn’t see them. I hope that I scared them away. Please be alert this isn’t the first time there have been prowlers in our neighborhood.”
I went back and checked our security camera footage and saw the vehicle on 1st and then shortly after could see the same vehicle driving behind us on Wise St.  It is a newer dark SUV with unique side marker lights in front of the doors, possibly on the side rear-view mirrors.  They made several passes, driving very slowly in front of homes.
Dead Seabird Report.  Last year we reported on COASST (Coastal Observation And Seabird Survey Team) walks, also locally referred to as the dead seabird check.  We went years without finding any dead birds, primarily because the eagles generally keep the shoreline clean.  And they probably took care of this seabird, leaving only part of its head and the upper bill.  
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It was probably a young double-crested cormorant, because its bill length was a few millimeters short of that of an adult.  Let us know if you are interested in joining us on these monthly shoreline walks.
Egg Casings.  We’ve reported on these before and this is a test to see if you know the source of the eggs.  They are usually found in the intertidal or subtidal areas, but probably became buoyant because of the number of eggs and washed up to the higher tide level.  
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Pheasant Beach Walker.  We were surprised to see this pheasant walking the other way down the beach.  He didn’t seem to be too concerned about us.
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Egg Casings Answer.  We copied this information from one of the many information sites on the web.  

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“The Frilled Dogwinkle can be found in winter or early spring around the low tide line where numerous females (four years old or older) will lay many yellow spindle-shaped eggs about a half inch long attached to rocks in a communal nursery. A female can lay up to 1,000 eggs per year.  After a month or so the young snails pierce the egg capsule and crawl off, however there is high mortality with only around 1 percent reaching one year of age.” 

Jim Aho

Illahee 1/23/15 Eagle Photos, Saturday’s Windstorm, Kitsap Sun Article, Preserve Downed Trees, Outfall Photos, Daffodils

Eagle Photos.   Photos of some local guardians.

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Saturday’s Windstorm.   Last Sunday morning we ventured north to photograph downed trees and didn’t get up to Ocean View until this area was cleaned up. 
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Kitsap Sun Article.   The Illahee Preserve and the Timbers Edge purchase opportunity were the subject of a front page article in Sunday’s (1/18/15) Kitsap Sun.  The link to the article is:   We have been impressed over the years how good the Sun reporters are at succinctly and accurately reporting on Illahee issues.
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Preserve Downed Trees.   Thanks to those who advised us of all the trees downed across trails in the Illahee Preserve.  Below are a few of the photos.  The Rotary and Illahee Community trail crew is scheduled to clean them up on Sunday.
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Outfall Photos.   We had to wait until the tide was out to take these photos of the outfall that was installed the previous week.  
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The straw covered dirt is a quagmire of mud incapable of walking on unless you have hip boots, and you would likely loose them.  
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We are fortunate that most of our underground utilities are underground, but again Illahee gets the short end of county planner actions, and they wonder why some of us get upset.  We wish they had to live with their decisions.  Again, sorry for being so cynical, but we know things can be done so much better.  
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Daffodils.   We are thinking a couple of warm days and we will see our first daffodils.
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Jim Aho

Illahee 1/18/15 Wind Storm Photos, Downed Power Line, Seahawk House Lights Out, New Driver, Outfall Photos, Preserve Downed Trees?

Wind Storm Photos.   An early Sunday morning walk found garbage cans scattered and the sound of generators running, along with a number of road closure signs.

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Downed Power Lines.   We also finally found the reason for the signs and a smouldering fire.
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Seahawk House Lights Out.   And we knew the power was out when the Illahee Road Seahawks decoration lights were out.  Thankfully, that stretch of Illahee Road got their power back in time for the game.
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New Driver.   And on Saturday a young lady was learning how to drive and the family is probably glad the ditch was soft dirt.
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Outfall Photos.   We said we would take photos of the completed outfall job.  Later we will get some from the beach.  We think the neighbors probably wish the pipe had been installed closer to the bank so it wasn’t such an eyesore.  Maybe the county, who approved the installation, will give them a break on their property taxes.  (Sorry for the cynical comment, but someone has to say it.)
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Preserve Downed Trees?   Normally after a wind storm we hear about downed trees over trails in the Illahee Preserve, but so far no reports.  Let us know if there are any.
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/16/15 Gilberton Community Club Contact? Stop Work Lifted, Project Completes? Barge Departs, Final Photos Later, Tree Art

Gilberton Community Club Contact?   We have been asked to help find a Gilberton Community Club contact.  Please have them contact Michael.  His email is copied below:

KCD Grant Gilberton
Stop Work Lifted.   We were not able to check on the outfall project on Thursday and were surprised the stop work was lifted so quickly.  Evidently Community Development approved what they had to (the SDAP?) and the Public Works right-of-way requirements were met. 
Project Completes?   What we saw on Friday morning was a nearly complete project as you can see from the following photos:
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Tug Pull Barge off Beach.   And almost as quickly as it came, the barge departed.
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Final Photos Later.   We will try to get some final photos of the outfall this weekend.
Tree Art.   Noticed this tree art in Illahee on Friday. 
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Jim Aho