How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you build a successful Park Foundation? The same way.
by Terica Ginther
President, Deception Pass Park Foundation
For the past 16 years, the Deception Pass Park Foundation has been creating new programs and making improvements in Deception Pass State Park. Your dollars have been hard at work in 2021!
This season, for the first time ever, the Interpretive team offered a summer schedule with programs 7 days a week from the end of June through Labor Day. Rangers, volunteers, and interns were trained to cover interpretive opportunities in the park and connected with almost 45,000 visitors. We doubled the Park’s interpretive reach and are expecting even greater success in 2022.
This year, the Foundation printed new Deception Pass Junior Ranger books for our young visitors. The demand for the books was so high that we had to do an emergency reorder just to make it through the summer. In 2022, we look forward to even more Junior Rangers!
The Foundation provided funding for many evening programs, such as Friday night game night and our popular American Roots Arts in the Park concert series. Over 2,700 people attended the concert series.
Through our restoration programs, we have been able to replace 38 of the most weathered and damaged picnic tables and benches in the park this year. Rory Wallgren has volunteered 292 hours in the park working on these projects and many others have also contributed labor. The programs have been a huge success, and we still have over 300 tables and benches available for restoration and dedication, if you are interested.
Although the long burn ban this summer prevented us from selling firewood to campers, the Lake Store still had record breaking sales of t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, magnets, ice cream, and more. Carol Bromel has been instrumental in the store’s success, contributing over 330 hours of labor this year. Nearly $200,000 in merchandise was sold, including over $20,000 in ice cream bars and $35,000 in snacks and drinks.
Unfortunately, the ancient freezer which holds all of these treats broke, and the one we purchased to replace it only lasted a month. At the end of the season, the soda fridge also died, so you can imagine we have a lot of new equipment to acquire this winter.
The past two years, we have had spectacular growth in our volunteer program. Louanne Isaacson and Abdiel Ramirez have developed a very organized system for getting volunteers put to work. This year, we had over 300 volunteers work more than 3,200 hours in the park fixing tables, cleaning storm debris, pulling invasive plants, beautifying the grounds, providing assistance to visitors and much more. The number of hours these volunteers have worked is equivalent to adding 7 seasonal park aides to the staff.
We have an exciting year ahead in 2022. The Foundation will be hosting a yearlong celebration of the Park’s 100th Birthday! We will hold 17 special events, including a New Year’s Eve Kick Off Party, trail maintenance events, 5k Scavenger Run, commemorative installation recognizing the park managers over the last 100 years, replacement of the fencing on Goose Rock Trail, a huge Community Picnic with live music, food trucks, beer garden and vendors, and Vintage RV Rally & Car Show.
None of this would have been possible without your past support, and we are so grateful. Will you consider supporting the Foundation this year? As you can see, your contributions make a big difference!
For your convenience, you can donate through our website. Please go to DeceptionPassFoundation.org button at the top.