Volunteers gathered throughout Gig Harbor on Saturday for Parks Appreciation Day, working to clean winter debris from city parks and trails in preparation for warm weather activity.
Joining these volunteers was the Gig Harbor Lions Club, continuing its cleanup and restoration project of the Finholm View Climb, first built by the club in the late 1980s, according to club member Ruth Peterson.
The Lions Club is who helped organize and build it.
Ruth Peterson, Gig Harbor Lions Club member
“The Lions Club is who helped organize and build it,” she said.
The project is part of a request from Lions Club International, which asked local clubs to take on an environmental project for their local community in celebration of the club’s 100th anniversary. Cleaning the view climb was a project that appealed to the club as a continuation of its involvement with first building the landmark.
The project included scrubbing the wooden steps and trimming and pruning back vegetation. Also included is the replacement of the more than 90 metal name plaques featured on the view climb, which were used as a fundraiser to pay for the initial construction of the structure, said club member John Kirry.
In 1931 there was no city government, no formal structure in (Gig Harbor). A lot of the founding fathers from our city came from the original Lions Club.
John Kirry, Gig Harbor Lions Club member
“The old stainless steel plaques didn’t weather well,” he explained. “All the plaques will be replaced.”
The club worked with Peninsula Trophy in Gig Harbor to replace the plaques and to create two new plaques, one to celebrate the Lions Club centennial and the other to commemorate the original 24 Gig Harbor Lions Club members when the club was formed in 1931. Among these founding members were Leander Finholm and his son, Hugo.
“In 1931 there was no city government, no formal structure in town,” Kirry said. “A lot of the founding fathers from our city came from the original Lions Club.”
The plaques were removed prior to the cleanup and will be returned to their previous positions after the steps have been cleaned.
Everything is new and it will be refurbished and ready to go. It’s a great community asset ...(and) a great community effort.
A second cleanup and rededication for the Finholm View Climb will be held from 10 a.m. to noon May 6, closing with a ribbon-cutting from Gig Harbor Mayor Jill Guernsey.
“Everything is new and it will be refurbished and ready to go,” Kirry said. “It’s a great community asset ... (and) a great community effort.”