San Juan Island National Historical Park will apply more than $800,000 in special project funds in 2014 on improvements to park roads, trails, grounds, and buildings at American and English camps.
Superintendent Lee Taylor said the money will provide paid summer work experiences for island youths via the San Juan Conservation Corps (SJCC), founded two years ago by the park and the Madrona Institute.
American Camp projects include rehabilitating the interior of the Officers’ Quarters; laying new gravel on the Salmon Banks Road and adding new bulletin boards at South Beach; grading the Redoubt Road; and maintaining the vistas and appearance of the historic landscape. At English Camp maintenance crews will repair historic rock walls and complete the major stabilization and rehabilitation work on the historic Crook House.
Trail clearing and landscape work will be done with an assist from the SJCC, as well as other national and regional youth groups such as Earthcorps, and Washington Conservation Corps.
Each year the park competes with more than 400 other national park units for money targeted for projects that address park infrastructure as well as natural and cultural resources and attendant education and interpretation programs.
"We'll receive $863,000 altogether for these projects in addition to our anticipated regular operating budget of $930,500," Taylor said. "It should be a year of great improvements for visitors to the park and we're very excited about it."
The interior renovation of the Officers' Quarters at American Camp is especially noteworthy as it will make it possible to open this building to the public for the first time since the park was created in 1966 (see related story below), Taylor said.