Submitted by the City of Gig Harbor
On Sept 28th, the City of Gig Harbor won the Great Neighborhoods Award for the Gig Harbor waterfront. Planning Director Jennifer Kester’s nomination was chosen by the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Planning Association of Washington and she was presented the award at the Washington APA annual conference in SeaTac, Washington.
The Great Places in Washington Awards Program sought to recognize one neighborhood in Western Washington that provides for a resident’s day-to-day living by mixing housing, services, and recreation; has design features that are visually interesting; encourages human contact and social activities; and, accommodates pedestrians, bicyclists, transit, and drivers.
This award acknowledges the city’s recent successes in creating a thriving, vibrant waterfront.
“It is truly an honor to receive this award. Gig Harbor is an amazing place to work and play and the waterfront is this city’s heart. I’m proud to be a part of Gig Harbor and love the rich activities, culture and history our waterfront provides its residents and visitors.” Kester stated.
The application highlights Gig Harbor’s improvements within 10 waterfront parks such as the Welcome Plaza at Skansie Park and upcoming Ancich Waterfront Park; activities for residents and visitors such as the Waterfront Farmer’s Market, Waterfront Walking Tour, and the Get Around Gig Harbor Trolley; the city’s design standards and recent downtown visioning efforts; new business investments such as Harbor General Store and Ship to Shore Marine; and the city’s fishing economy and working waterfront.
Mayor Jill Guernsey said, “It is gratifying to know that a respected state-wide organization recognizes and validates all of the efforts we have made to find the right balance between sustaining a vibrant waterfront while maintaining our historical character. Gig Harbor is truly a very special place and I am very lucky to call it home. I invite all citizens to come and enjoy the wonder that is our waterfront and join us in being grateful for this unique treasure.”