An aerial view of the park property.

Morrow Park’s Phase 1 done; Viking Fest planned for May

Transportation Benefit District, ‘we go round’ coming

Phase 1 of Rotary Morrow Community Park has been completed as the Poulsbo City Council approved it Wednesday.

Reinstatement of Viking Fest was announced, and the formation of a Transportation Benefit District and installment of a “we-go-round” at Raab Park also were accepted.

The initial phase of the park near Noll Road consisted of clearing, grading and installation of gravel trails throughout the park. The final contract amount was about $135,000, while the final paid contract total was almost $131,000.

The project started in 2015 in collaboration with Poulsbo Rotary to build a park and an eight-unit development to provide long-term supportive housing for domestic violence survivors, documents say. The land was donated to the city, a 1.21-acre parcel, with the goal of providing a walkable and bikeable park that serves adjacent housing and new developments.

The park sits at the midway point of the planned Noll Road shared-use path and is “essential for this neighborhood and the planned expansion of homes in the area,” per documents. The project started with a budget of $231,000 funded through park reserves/park impact fees. Design was completed by Bainbridge Island landscape architect Fischer Bouma in 2021.

Due to funding restrictions, the park construction was set up in a phased approach. Phase 1 consisted of clearing and limbing of trees and shrubs, some minor grading and installation of roughly 500 feet of gravel trail. In August 2021, GEC NW was selected through a bid process as the contractor.

For phases 2 and 3, parks and recreation director Dan Schoonmaker said the city is going to seek funding from Recreation & Conservation Office grants. Work will consist of asphalt trails, playground equipment, picnic areas and road improvements for additional parking.

In a related matter, Poulsbo Rotary donated $30,000 to the city for the purchase of a “we-go-round” at Raab Park, a fully wheelchair accessible and inclusive merry-go-round that allows kids and families of all abilities to interact and play together, documents state. The equipment will be installed as part of the Play for All project, which Rotary has supported and collaborated with the city on.

“It’s unspeakably important to people who have children, family members or friends who need to be able to actively participate at a park with limited abilities,” Councilmember Connie Lord said. “It’s fulfilling a big need, and I’m very grateful we’re able to accommodate that.”

Other news

The council also approved an ordinance assuming the rights, powers, functions and obligations of the Poulsbo Transportation Benefit District, completing the last step in the process. The TBD will implement a $20 car-tab fee for vehicles registered in the city to increase funding for neighborhood street improvements.

“We now have a funding source for our neighborhood streets, which is a big deal,” Mayor Becky Erickson said.

Also, Erickson announced that Viking Fest is planned for the weekend of May 20 after being canceled the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The iconic Poulsbo event has been held for over 50 years to celebrate the city’s Scandanavian roots.

Various events are held over the three-day period such as the artwork competition, carnival and street fair, entertainment, road race, strong man competition, parade and more. Erickson said the city will soon be hiring an event coordinator to help with the planning as the logistics and set-up of Viking Fest is still in progress.

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