Church unloads unwanted property for preservation

A creek runs through it.

That has been the story of Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church’s property for 25 years where Barker Creek runs just behind the church’s parking lot and renders the 4.62 acres of land beyond it unusable.

Now the property, which is still to be left untouched, is about to change hands.

Mary Bertrand, Chums of Barker Creek president, handed a $30,000 check to the Kitsap County commissioners at their Monday meeting. The money is slated for the Kitsap Facilities, Parks and Recreation Department’s acquisition of the church’s piece of land off of Nels Nelson Road.

“We also requested that a conservation easement be put on that property,” Bertrand said.

That was the deal from the beginning when Central Kitsap Presbyterian contacted the non-profit group to help find a way to preserve the wilderness.

When the church was approached a few years ago by a liaison to the county, the land was appraised at $30,000.

The deal stalled and Tom Forstall, a church administrator, contacted the Chums in February 2003.

“Just as a fluke a few months later (a San Francisco organization) wanted to know if we wanted to use some funds,” Bertrand said.

So, the Chums wrote up a grant proposal for the $30,000 and sent it back in

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