On Saturday, July 19, the residents of Anderson Island held a celebration to dedicate a new park. Jacobs Point Park is an 80 acre peninsula that extends into Oro Bay.
The land belonged to the Jacobs family who sold it years ago to Young Life who did not find it feasible for a camp complex. Young Life sold it below appraised value and the land was purchased using grants from the Pierce County Conservation Futures Fund and the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office’s Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account. Forterra guided the Island’s Park District through the grant and purchase process.
The day’s gathering was in the parking lot and Young lIfe generously provided a bus to shuttle people from a lot near the general store to the park entrance.
The walk from the parking lot to the end of the trail and back is 2.5 miles. Residents volunteered over a two year period to clear brush for a trail, lay down wood chips to help with soggy clay soil, build hand rails, steps, a raised wooden and metal walkway, add picnic tables, benches and install a solar composting toilet.
The dedication was graced with the presence of many members of the Jacobs family including Barbara Jacobs (90) whose grandparents were the original purchasers of the property. The family members are residents of Puyallup. Along the trail, visitors will come across a brick chimney in the forest where the family homestead used to stand. Other Jacobs family members were Barbara’s sons Ed and Bill, daughter Jane, and daughter-in-law Lesli, widow of Tim. Son Tom was unable to attend.
Other special guests included State Representative Dick Muri, who wsa their County Councilman when the grants were secure and the land purchased. Current County Councilman representing Anderson Island, Doug Richardson, was also present. Representing Forterra was Tacoma City Councilman Ryan Mello.
Daniel Hull of the Nisqually Nature Center and Roberta Davenport of DNR’s Aquatic Reserves program attended.
Much of the time during the event was spent giving credit to local folks who contributed time effort and particular portions of the work on the park and trail. These included Richard Keiser of Young Life, who granted
the first option to buy to the island’s Parks Department. Other included Mike Sheridan, Dave Carlson, Forterra, Adam Draper, Rick and Melissa Anderson, Dick Muri, Daniel Hull, Roberta Davenport, Dale Goodwin, Billy Garcia, Kyle Larson, Mike Walentiny, Phil and Karen Vickers of Island Nursery.
Doug Sherrill, Jay Wiggins (Honey Buckets), Sheri Erickson (interpretive signage), Dick and Wendy Shaw for allowing the trail easement, Chuck Hinds and Bill Spears from the Anderson Island Park District, Dave Jacobsen, John Larson (hand rail), Evan Paschal for building the signs, and Carol Paschal, Parks Department Treasurer who kept track of everything to the penny.
The weather was sunny and moderate. After the formalities there was cake, sodas and water. Many took the time to walk the 2.5 mile trail to the end and back to see the beautiful, lush forest, water views and beach access.
Congratulations to the people of Anderson Island for a great community effort toward a long-term island legacy. You have made a wonderful example of what a great difference people pulling together can make.