The Bainbridge Island Park & Recreation District was formed as a result of community interest in the need for public park facilities - in particular, the need for a swimming pool. Spearheaded by members of the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island and with the active support of various groups, island voters approved the formation of the District in a special election on May 24, 1965, under Revised Code of Washington Chapter 36.698.
Over the next few years, the Park District grew and developed as park sites were acquired by or donated to the new district. The Rotary Club provided major financial support when matching funds were required for the purchase of surplus federal property. Volunteers from Little League, Pee Wees, and softball teams set up work parties and helped with field construction. Currently, the Park District cares for nearly 1400 acres of park lands, 90% of which is protected open space.
In 2004, the Island voted to convert the structure of the District to a Metropolitan Park District. While this change is transparent in terms of parks and programs, it allows the District to do better long range planning and to anticipate and meet the needs of the Island in the future.