Effective Oct. 1, Carrie Blake Community Park’s park host/ docent program will stop, but likely only for a few months, city staff say.
Started more than five years ago for the city’s biggest park, docents have lived in trailers by the former entrance near the Shiso City Sister City Japanese Garden and near the Albert Haller Playfields.
The city’s management analyst Jason Loihle said city staff plan to evaluate and reorganize the program over the winter and tentatively reintroduce an updated program starting in spring 2020 with increased responsibilities.
“The program as a concept is a success,” he said. “We like having it. We just need to reign in the oversight and scope of the program.”
Currently, park docents serve as “the eyes and ears” of the park, Loihle said, reporting any incidents to Sequim police. They also unlock and lock park bathrooms and the pickleball courts.
“They make sure people aren’t doing bad things and remind people of rules,” Loihle said.
One likely change through the program, he said, is scheduling a rotational period for a docent/host.
“We’re unique in this that we’ve never set a term length,” Loihle said.
One host has remained in the park since the program began while the other site has rotated over the years.
Complaints about hosts have been minimal, Loihle said, but in years prior one docent was “a little extreme/intense” park visitors reported.
Additionally, the program’s policies followed the state’s, which he said includes many elements such as lakes and boats that don’t apply.
City Manager Charlie Bush said the idea to update the program came up through the city’s risk pool program with the Washington Cities Insurance Authority.
Loihle said they’ve notified the docents prior to announcing the change but are waiting till October to implement it because they “want to get through the summer season and make a recommendation sometime in winter.”
For more information on the program, contact Jason Loihle 360-582-2458 or email@example.com.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.