Illahee Update 3/16/12 Brush Pickers, Deer Pics, Rain Effects, Illahee Preserve Items, No TE Bridge Loan

Brush Pickers. Last weekend a walk through of the Preserve found that there has been extensive harvesting of salal going on.  And on Tuesday we found out why when we received the following report:

Brush pickers are back, counted 11 of them and getting bolder and aggressive when told not to pick here.

We attempted to try and locate them but ended up looking on all the trails but one, the one where it turns out they had been sighted.  Soon we will have better trail markers so it will be easier to report the location of the brush pickers.

Deer Pictures. Even though there are many deer around, it isn’t easy to always get pictures, especially since they are usually nocturnal.  Thanks for sending the photos, of which one was titled their brush pickers.

Rain Effects. Whenever it rains an inch or more the sediment laden storm water from Illahee Creek can be seen in Puget Sound going either north or south, depending on whether the tide is going in or out.  The brown water is an indication of the unabated storm surges coming primarily from the 134 acre area north of the golf course that was developed when there were no requirements to control stormwater.  The estimate to completely correct the situation in the Illahee Creek watershed is $20,000,000, but there are other lower cost items that will help, such as rain gardens and detention facilities.

Illahee Preserve Items. We did get a photo of a tree that came down during one of the recent windy periods.  We haven’t heard of any other big trees down, mostly smaller ones, that will soon be taken care of.
There was an email that we saw detailing some Illahee Preserve projects that we thought should be passed on.

Some updates on issues affecting the Illahee Preserve. 

Concept Drawing – The concept drawings showing the master plan for improvements at the Almira parking lot were approved by Parks and are in the process of being prepared in a CAD format by Parametrix.  They will show the new kiosk, the paver block walkway, a future shelter, a future restroom area, and will be stamped by an engineer so that a grading permit can be obtained as a significant amount of dirt will be required to fill the depression area just east of the parking lot.

Kiosk – I received a call from Eliot Orando who wanted to know if he could use 6 inch diameter logs for his kiosk posts rather than the 12 inch ones we suggested.  He said the 12 inch diameter ones were considerably more expensive.  I said the 12 inch ones were designed to match the future shelter posts, which is why that size was selected.  I said the IFP would likely be able to help with the extra costs of the larger logs.

Concrete Walkway.  Once we get the CAD drawings we will need to talk about the concrete walkway and paver blocks that should be planned for installation in time for the May 5th celebration being sponsored by Leadership Kitsap.  While LK mentioned helping with this at the beginning, I don’t think they have this part of the project in their plans, so it will likely be up to us to make it happen.  While it seems like a daunting project it isn’t much more complicated than putting in a sidewalk to a contractor.  The biggest issue for us will be coming up with a source for paver blocks, along with a good contractor.  And it will cost us some upfront dollars, unless LK was able to garner enough for this in their efforts.

Rain Garden – We are looking at making some improvements to the Almira parking lot rain garden as it appears there are no comprehensive demonstration rain gardens in the area, and because of the size and number of plots, we can provide a big benefit with our rain garden to Kitsap County.  It will take some work and we are just starting the process.

Trail Map & Trail Markers – The trail map was edited and presented to Parametrix, who will be working with Rice, Fergus, Miller, to come up with a trail map that will go along with the new trail markers that will be installed by Leadership Kitsap and the WYA on 4/14/12.  A total of 33 intersections were identified and we will get an opportunity to review the map before anything is printed.

Other Issues?  There are some other issues going on also that are best handled by separate emails, such as possible homeless prospects if they are moved out from behind Safeway, and the homeless camp already found last week.  The Compass Circle Meadow Restoration Project is also going on and is on track to hopefully complete by May 5th.

Remember the next meeting is Tuesday, March 20th, at the new Port meeting facility at the base of the Illahee dock, beginning at 6:30 pm.

No TE Bridge Loan. We attended the monthly Port of Illahee meeting on Thursday where it was reported the Trust for Public Lands was not interested in helping with a bridge loan for the Timbers Edge properties because the project was too small.  We also heard the Port felt they have enough issues before them and they didn’t want to get involved in a trustee sale, so they voted to not be involved.  What this means is some other method will be necessary if the Illahee community wants to try and obtain the properties.  Some were hopeful that the 21 gifted acres could be used as a partnership match for a possible grant, that would need to be initiated quickly by the county.

Jim Aho