North Kitsap Trail Will Be Named After the Man Who Helped Create It
The Hansville Greenway and Wildlife Corridor, a 300-plus acre wildlife preserve with about 8 miles of trails at the northern tip of Kitsap County.
When Sid Knutson was asked if he thought he'd ever see a trail connecting Hood Canal to Puget Sound, he swiftly answered "No."
But now he has, and on Saturday the longtime force behind a Hansville nature preserve and trail network will be honored when it becomes the Sid Knutson Puget Sound to Hood Canal Trail.
The trail is part of the Hansville Greenway and Wildlife Corridor, a 300-plus acre wildlife preserve with about 8 miles of trails at the northern tip of Kitsap County.
In December, Olympic Property Group sold Kitsap County 112 acres and donated 2 ½ acres of easements that finally allowed for the Puget Sound-Hood Canal connection.
But the effort to grow the greenway has been going on since 1991.
"I don't know if we could do it today," said Knutson, 83.
Land is more expensive, and portions of the greenway would have been probably been developed by now.
Legislation establishing a statewide fund for open space, and an allowance for counties to collect a half of a percent tax for open space, opened the door for a project like the greenway, he said.
"Our timing was perfect, I guess," he said.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, the Hansville Greenway Association and Kitsap County Parks and Recreation will dedicate the trail in Knutson's honor at Norwegian Point Park. After the ceremony, people can walk the 4-mile trail, and volunteers will have maps with different routes based on difficulty.
For Knutson, preserving wetlands and open space for wildlife is the primary benefit of the greenway.
He didn't want to get too philosophical about it, but he said that humans get something out of open spaces, too.
"We need them," he said. "I think human beings need it, as well as animals."
Neighborhood planners are now seeing how open spaces — along with the usual neighborhood features like water, sewers and roads — affect the quality of life, he said.
Into the future, the greenway could look into improving trail interconnectivity, and whether there is a benefit in environmental restoration in some areas.
So the trail that bears Knutson's name isn't the final project in the greenway.
"I look at it as a major milestone, but I don't see it as the end," he said.