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Upgrades due for Carrie Blake Park
by ROSS COYLE
Jeff Edwards hopes that Sequim residents soon will be able to get a cup of joe and learn about Carrie Blake Park without having to go off the premises.
Edwards said that the city’s parks and recreation board has plans to provide Carrie Blake Park with a park host and concession stand.
The park host will stay in a self-provided trailer set up across from the park’s convention center. Currently, the trailer must be less than 20 years old due to fire and safety concerns. Utilities will be paid by the city, which Edwards suspects will cost Sequim around $1,500 per year.
He is accepting applications indefinitely, because park hosts will rotate out each year. The current applicant is Ken Davis, who will live at the park while building his house in Sequim.
The ideal applicant will be a mobile retiree who can keep an eye on the park and talk to visitors about its history. “We want someone who’s going to live there,” Edwards said, “and treat the park as their property.”
While the docents would bring their own trailer to the park, Edwards said that he won’t allow any trailer older than 20 years. Older mobile homes are prone to hazards such as leaks and fires and also can be an eyesore on a property, he said. “This is going to be placed in the main parking area, so we don’t want anything that takes away from the pleasant view when you drive into the park.”
Park docents need to have good communication skills and judgment.
“Their job is to forewarn us if there’s an issue, to respond to an issue and diffuse the situation,” said Edwards. The docent will need to know who to contact regarding animal or criminal issues and also how to calm down visitors.
Applications are available at City Hall and Edwards encourages anyone who is capable of walking the park to apply: “I would love this job if I were retired.”
A concession stand is also in the works for Carrie Blake, although only in the preliminary planning phases with the parks and recreation board. Edwards hopes to have a private entity come forward, such as the Rotary Club or Boys & Girls Club, to manage the stand. It would be set up near either the skate park or softball and soccer fields.
“On a day like (Friday), I bet they could have sold 1,000 cups of coffee,” Edwards said.
The stand is meant to help cover small operations costs but also to be a convenience for visitors, some of whom have their own ideas of what it should sell.
“Coffee cups with dog signs and dog biscuits!” suggested Wolfgang Kneidl, who uses the park’s fenced dog park to walk his animals.
Lydia Nielson, walking her dogs Abby and Maggie, disagreed with the consensus that the concession stand would be an improvement.
“Around here there’s drive through coffee, we have QFC and Adagio, how many more sale things do we need?” she asked.
“Unless there’s soccer or something like that there may be a need, but not on a day-to-day basis. I don’t think it would pay for itself.”
Edwards said that the best scenario would be for the stand to be maintained privately and the parks and recreation board members are hoping citizens will come forward with their own ideas and plans for the stand: “If you have thought for getting concessions in the park, contact us; we’d like to talk.”