The Key Peninsula Lions Club promised in 2005 to assist the Key Peninsula Parks District Board develop of its properties. The park board suggested the Lions build a picnic shelter at the then-undeveloped property that is now Home Park, using materials from timber cleared during the development of Volunteer Park. The Lions agreed to spearhead the development, and the parks district pursued necessary permits.
Since the lumber to be used was ungraded, it had to be inspected by a licensed engineer, who then designed the structure.
Lion George Robison’s son, Ed, a civil and structural engineer, did the plans for free. Coincidentally, Ed is now a parks district commissioner.
The park district submitted the plans to Pierce County, which issued the permit three years later. In the interim, plans to finish the park were completed.
The day the roof went on the picnic shelter, families were using Home Park, which was completed and dedicated in September 2009.
Cooperation continued between the Lions Club and the parks district as the Lions constructed a concrete retaining wall to provide soil stabilization and to enhance seating for those who attend games at the upper portion of Volunteer Park. The Lions also worked with a volunteer to rebuild the field’s dugouts.
The parks district acquired property at Taylor Bay in 2009, and a fence was built between the site and its neighbor with help from both entities. The Lions now hope to build concrete tables and benches at Taylor Bay Park.
The Lions also provided a volunteer project supervisor and labor at Volunteer Park, working alongside parks district staff members to construct a retaining wall and drainage system between the middle and lower fields. The lower field is now used for T-ball and other activities.
Earlier this year, the Lions initiated a project at the newly opened 360 Park, where they built concrete benches, tables and individual seating that is less susceptible to weather damage and vandalism. The Lions have proposed a special project this month to remove scotch broom from the park.
Scotch broom, native to Europe, is an invasive species that can rapidly get out of hand. It “crowds out native species and negatively impacts wildlife habitat,” according to the state’s Invasive Species Council. “It can form dense, impenetrable stands that degrade farmland, prevent or slow forest regeneration and restoration of upland sites and wetland buffers and create fire hazards.”
The shrub is on Washington’s terrestrial noxious weed seed and plant quarantine list, meaning it is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale or distribute in plants, plant part or seed from. Some counties require mandatory eradication.
The Lions plan to seek the parks board approval to announce a special event at the 360 Park to remove Scotch broom. Volunteers will help to reduce the invasive species and also receive some fresh air and a free lunch.
For more information, call George Robison at 253-853-2721.Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelancer for the Peninsula Gateway and a member of the Key Peninsula Lions Club. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.