Key Pen Parks moving forward with plans

Scott Gallacher

As spring reaches into the summer season and the warmer weather tempts people out of their homes, Im reminded of our emerging and blossoming community.

Although we are connected to each other by a preference for a quiet lifestyle, Key Peninsula is growing in resident numbers. Many local organizations have been planning for the future growth of our peninsula. Key Pen Parks is also looking toward the future and how we play a role in the enrichment of our community.

Over the past months, we have been busy on several new things. In brief, we launched a new website, which hopefully makes it easier for you to find information you are seeking related to our parks and park business. We also created a brochure that you can find throughout the greater Gig Harbor area.

We started a new event this year, the 360 Trails Poker Pedal. This unique event raised money for the further development of 360 Trails.

If you havent been lately, there are new trails to enjoy and we have dotted the landscape with information kiosks that show your location, but also have a quick response (QR) code that puts the trail map right on your smart phone.

Looking ahead to this summer, we are excited about a few new youth camps and events coming up. The closest event is the Fourth of July Community Hot Dog Social. With the support of Food Market of the Key Center and Lake Katheryn, residents are invited to come and meet their friends and neighbors for a free hot dog lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volunteer Park. We will have games and music, and hope you will join the fun.

Of course, the big project that were working on will be one of Key Pen Parks largest future community enrichment contributions: Gateway Park. In my last column, I talked about the public input process on developing a conceptual plan for the 39-acre park.

A master plan (concept E-1) was approved by the park districts board of commissioners at the March 9 board meeting, as was the motion to move forward with phase 1 of construction. At completion, phase 1 includes redesigning existing entrances with street lighting, paving the west parking lot and adding a toilet structure. We encourage everyone to follow the Gateway Park progress on our website.

We have increased our grant application efforts to enhance and possibly help expedite the Gateway project, one of which is the Pierce County Conservation Futures Program grant. The Key Peninsula Parks and Recreation Foundation also is working on fundraising plans.

I hope by my next column, well have good news regarding the Conservation Futures grant and will be well underway with the permitting process for phase 1 construction.

The change of season brings increased energy levels and optimism, and for us at Key Pen Parks, we are very optimistic about the future of recreational opportunities for the Key Peninsula.

Scott Gallacher is the executive director of Key Pen Parks and can be reached at