* DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES * SKAGIT COUNTY PARKS & RECREATION *
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2010
State DNR and Skagit County partner to reopen Samish Island Day Use Area
County will take over management of the facility
OLYMPIA – Today, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Skagit County Department of Parks and Recreation finalized an agreement in which the county will assume management of the DNR-owned Samish Island Day Use Area. The area is the only place on the island that provides public access to the beach and tidelands.
Because of budget cuts, DNR was forced to close access to the beach in 2009. DNR also removed the old stairway, which was falling into disrepair and posing a risk to public safety. DNR did not have the funding to replace the stairs and maintain the restroom at the head of the stairway.
“I am pleased that Skagit County stepped up to reopen the Samish Island Day Use Area,” said Ben Cleveland, Acting Region Manager of DNR’s Northwest Region. “As budgets get tighter, it is creative solutions such as these that will benefit the public by providing safe access to recreational opportunities.”
Under the new agreement, DNR will retain ownership of the Samish Island day-use area, while Skagit County will provide the ongoing maintenance and operations, including access, garbage removal, signage, and restroom facilities.
“In this current economic climate, interagency partnerships are more important than ever for finding ways to keep public recreation facilities open and accessible,” said Brian Adams, Director of Skagit County’s Department of Parks and Recreation. “The county is looking forward to providing the public with safe access to the beach, which is great for walking and shellfish gathering.”
Before opening the area for public use, the county will improve access and safety by placing a marine-grade stairway from the picnic area to the tidelands. The county plans to officially reopen the area on February 1, 2011.
“The capital improvements for the park were made possible by a funding source uniquely designed for access projects such as this one,” Adams said. “The ongoing operations and maintenance will not be much of an issue since the Parks and Recreation Department currently maintains another park in the neighborhood.”
The Samish Island Day Use Area was donated to DNR in the 1950s for the sole purpose of providing public access to tidelands for recreational purposes. Samish Island is west of Bow. The day use area is on Wharf Road.
For more information about the Samish Island Day-Use Area agreement, contact Brian Adams, Director of Skagit County Parks and Recreation, 360-336-9415, or firstname.lastname@example.org or Candace Johnson, Recreation Manager for DNR’s Northwest Region, 360-854-2803, or email@example.com .
Media Contact: Toni Droscher, DNR Recreation Program Communications Manager, 360-902-1523, or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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