Opinion

Letter | Talking about restrooms in county parks

Recently, the Clear Creek Task Force received an email complaining about the lack of access to public restroom facilities along the trail during the winter months.

He had known that the restroom by the Dog Park and the one at Old Mill Park were locked in the winter months. But what really irked Bob was the locked door on the Clear Creek Trail restroom at the Clear Creek Sa’qad Interpretive Center.

“This leaves ZERO bathrooms on the entire trail. This is unsatisfactory,” he said.

The Clear Creek Trail is a 501(c)3 nonprofit operation built and maintained by a bunch of dedicated volunteers and with funding from donations from our fans and grants.

The Clear Creek Trail is not always on property the trail owns. For those situations, we have easements or licenses with property owners to build trail on their property. For county property, we have a Joint Use Agreement to build, maintain and steward trail along Clear Creek.

The entire trail network north of Waaga Way to Trigger Avenue is on county property. The restrooms at the Dog Park and Old Mill Park on Bucklin Hill Road are county owned and maintained by county parks. It is their decision to lock them during the winter.

In fact, the Clear Creek Task Force was denied access to this public restroom during our Salmon in the Classroom program at the end of March.  This program has grown in 25 years with almost 700 kids from elementary schools around Central Kitsap for ten days. The Clear Creek Task Force rents a Porta Potty for the field trips.

Last Thursday, some delinquent made a mess of the Clear Creek restroom. With our full time maintenance boss retiring for health reasons and our backup guy on vacation for a month, the Task Force made the decision to close the restroom. Because having no volunteers to fill in, it cannot be maintained. It will reopen the first part of February.

Kitsap County public restrooms winter closing is solved by making it known to your local government that locking them during the winter is unacceptable.

However, if the parks department does open up year round, it will cost money. And my understanding of the situation is they are not looking to add more expenses to their budget at this time or anytime in the foreseeable future.

And then there is the looming vote on incorporation. If Silverdale becomes an official city, both of those county parks could eventually become city parks. That may change the level of service for the better.

Mary Earl

Clear Creek Trail

www.clearcreektrail.org

 

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