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New interactive nature park opens in South Kitsap

“Welcome to the NeighborWoods: New interactive nature park opens in South Kitsap

In years past, northwest kids learned about native plants, wildlife habitats, and developed outdoor adventure skills through scouting and summer camps. With the opening of a new, interactive Forest Explorer Trail adjacent to the playground in South Kitsap Regional Park, learning about the natural environment can be fun and interactive through simple trail challenges and nature education activities. An opening celebration is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 with a ribbon-cutting, guided trail tours and miniature train rides with the Kitsap Live Steamers. Everyone is welcome!

“South Kitsap Regional Park is located outside the Port Orchard city limits at the intersection of Jackson and Lund avenues. Access and parking to the nature trail is off the Jackson Avenue park entrance. Long-time Kitsap County residents may know the park by its previous name, Jackson Park.

“The Forest Explorer Trail is a 1/3-mile, semi-loop that features a series of stations challenging the trail user to see more, do more, and learn more. Children of all ages will learn about the forest environment, perform simple activities for exercise and movement, and develop observation skills to explore the local ‘NeighborWoods.’

“The explorer trail guide is Boomer, a fictional mountain beaver who shares his forest insights on illustrated interpretive signs,

“‘This is a new venture for our Kitsap County Parks and it is already proving to be a popular nature-oriented play facility,’ said Assistant Parks Director Travis Buell.

“The trail construction and signage was funded with a grant from the National Park and Recreation Association and the Walt Disney Company. The Kitsap project was one of 25 selected from a national ‘Meet Me in the Park’ competition for innovative family-oriented park features. Local organizations contributed additional funding and volunteers to assist in the trail construction over several months, including Port Orchard Rotary, Columbia Bank – Port Orchard branch, Marcus Whitman Middle School, South Kitsap High School track students and the MountainEars, a Disney fan club.

“For more information, contact Steven Starlund, Kitsap County park & open space planner, at (360) 337.5312, sstarlun@co.kitsap.wa.us or go to www.kitsapgov.com/parks/.”

source: Kitsap Electronic Notification System, 29 Aug 2018.