Led by Matthew Pickering (LK19), Kitsap County Public Works Utility Analyst – Lead, Environment & Planning Day, held March 11, 2022, highlighted the often times hidden people and processes that keep Kitsap environmentally healthy and provided an engaging, hands-on look at Kitsap County’s unique environment and planning challenges.

The day began at the Kitsap County Public Works Training Facility in Poulsbo with a panel presentation and discussion of urban growth, environmental health, and low impact development with Eric Baker, Kitsap County Board of Commissioners Policy Manager; John Keiss, Kitsap Public Health District Environmental Health Director; and Angie Tommiser, Associate Principal Rice Fergus Miller Architecture and Planning. The panel reinforced that everyone has a role to play in our community’s planning, development, and environmental health. Even small efforts make big impacts.

Lisa Campbell and Teresa Smith, Environmental Technicians with the City of Bremerton Water Resources Division shared the life cycle of Bremerton’s water and bringing safe, high quality drinking water to the residents of Bremerton. One participant commented, “[This] presentation made me realize that too often we take for granted our clean water and sewer system.”

One the best parts of Environmental Day is getting outside and exploring! Matthew Pickering led the class on a tour of the Central Kitsap Wastewater Treatment Plant which removes 94% of suspended solids and 95% Biochemical Oxygen Demand before discharging the cleaned water back in Puget Sound.

The class met Michelle Perdue, Kitsap County Public Works Stormwater Division Program Manager and Tim Beachy, Kitsap County Public Works Engineering Roads Capital Improvements Project Manager at the award-winning Whispering Firs Stormwater Park in Silverdale. The pair shared the benefits of the multiuse facility that not only treats 100 million gallons of stormwater runoff per year, but provides a beautiful park and walking trail system for the community to enjoy year-round.

The Positive Leadership theme of the day was Reason shared by Board Member Lowell Sweet. Reason is the ability to face and interpret reality. We are repeatedly faced with the choice to engage reality or avoid it. As one participant commented, “Doing everything with intent and having a reason will take you further and lead to more positive outcomes.”

Thank you to our Environment & Planning Day host: Kitsap County Public Works.