2015 End of Year Report

San Juan Island Park and Recreation District (locally known as Island Rec) established in 1984 as a junior taxing district for San Juan Island is governed by an elected board of five commissioners.  Serving during 2015 were Commissioners Bill Cumming (chair), Jacquelyn Reiff, Scott Zehner, Tracy Roberson and Adam Eltinge.

It is the purpose of San Juan Island Park and Recreation District to enhance the quality of life on San Juan Island by:
Offering the widest variety of leisure and recreational activities to all island residents

  • Acquiring, developing, maintaining, preserving and protecting recreational resources
  • Ensuring that recreational activities and facilities are accessible and affordable to all residents.

2015 was the sixth year of the 17 cent levy passed in November of 2009 and the sixth year of the inter-local agreement with the school district where as Island Rec funds school sports with seven cents of this levy. The operating expenses totaled $780,328 with 31% allocated for school sports.

Island Rec went to the voters in April asking for approval of a six-year 36.5 cent levy.  18.5 cents would be used for continuation of Island Rec’s programs, parks and services, 12 cents would ensure continuation of the school sports program and 8 cents would be used for the maintenance and operations of the new community park on Carter Ave.  68% of voters approved this request.  

The budget specific to Island Rec totaled $537,115.  Tax dollars paid 36% of Island Rec’s budget, which was a decrease from 63% in 2014.  The Lafarge Reserve Fund was closed and that money was transferred to the operating budget accounting for 25% of the budget.  Program fees paid 31% of all budget expenses and revenue generated by other fees, grants and sponsorship account for 8%.

FANS, Families and Neighbors Support Island Rec, a 501c3 created in 2012 for the purpose of expanding Island Rec’s level of service and keeping it thriving, contributed $14,700.  In 2014 FANS contribution was $18,499.  FANS continued to provide funds for Movies in the Park, Music on the Lawn, Children’s Festival, program scholarships, doggie waste bags and the 8.8k Race.  Additionally FANS provided 64 swim lessons and prizes for events, staff and volunteer recognition awards.

In 2014 San Juan County Assessor notified Island Rec of an error made when setting Island Rec’s tax rate collection.  The result of this error required Island Rec to pay back $377,000 over three years.  In 2015 the first payment of $125,731 was made.

Earthbox Inn, Harbor Rentals, Kings Market, Islanders Bank, Islanders Insurance, Island Petroleum Services, Roche Harbor Resort, San Juan Suites, Vinny’s Ristorante, Rock Island, Soroptimists and Xtreme Fitness continue as key sponsors of Island Rec events.

Island Rec’s Director Sally Thomsen resigned after 15 years of service.  In May, Maddie Ovenell replaced Sally as the Interim Director and officially accepted the Director position in September. Lowell Jons, the Youth and Family Recreation Specialist completed his first year.  Morgan Johnston, the Sports Recreation Specialist completed her third year.  Jordan Reinhart completed his first year as the School’s Our Program Coordinator.  Julie Daquelente completed her first year as the Administrative Assistant.  Dale Downs worked in his 7th year as the Park Maintenance/Custodian.  Island Rec employed 21 seasonal and part-time employees working Camp Eagle Rock, Sailing Classes, STAR, Open Gym, Open Fair Building and other specialty programs.  115 volunteers contributed more than 1800 hours providing park and recreation programs and services for San Juan Islanders.   

Parks, Trails and Open Space
Island Rec operates three parks: The Family Park and Skate Park at the Fairgrounds, Eddie & Friends Dog Park and Lafarge (Gravel Pit) Open space. Expenses for all parks and the Trails Committee account for 10% of Island Rec’s budget with 15% of tax dollars collected financing them.   Regular trash pick up and general maintenance occurs for these parks three times per week during spring, summer and fall, and reduced to two times per week in the winter.

Vandalism at the skate park required extra maintenance.  A spring toy was replaced at the Family Park.  In July, the pavilion roof of the Family Park was replaced using lodging tax (LTAC).

The cornerstone of Island Rec is its year-round broad recreation programming.  It operates in three distinct seasons, offering special events and on-going activities for people of all ages.  The majority of Island Rec resources are dedicated to recreation programs. 

Highlights of the 2015 recreation program were:

  • The STAR program participation increased from an average of 17 kids per day to 26.
  • Camp Eagle Rock had very strong enrollment this summer.  We had 70 kids per week with a waitlist for each week of camp.
  • A new family event, Family Splash was well received with 62 participants.
  • TREC program participation increased from 176 students to 273 students.
  • Teen Adventure Camps all filled to capacity during the summer and each camp had a waiting list. 

Partnerships are vital to Island Rec’s success and to serving the San Juan Island community effectively.  Partnerships and cooperative programming avoids duplication of services and utilizes existing resources to deliver a better service.  Island Rec continued its ongoing partnerships with:  

  • FANS
  • San Juan Island School District
  • San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce
  • San Juan Island Sailing Foundation
  • San Juan Island Fitness Club
  • Farmer’s Market
  • San Juan Island Prevention Coalition
  • San Juan Island Family Resource Center
  • Port of Friday Harbor
  • San Juan Nature Institute
  • Village at the Harbour
  • San Juan Island Library
  • San Juan Island Historical Museum
  • Friday Harbor Athletic Association
  • Town of Friday Harbor

Since 2008 Island Rec’s Board has recognized individuals, businesses and organizations with its Shining Star Awards and Volunteer Appreciation.  Award recipients for 2015 were:

Community Spirit Award: Selfless giving of goods, services and or financial support
Port of Friday Harbor
Continued support of our sailing program by providing a venue at Jackson Beach.
Xtreme Fitness
Continued support of the 8.8K race as the Premier Sponsor since 2010.

Partnership Award: 
Commitment to providing recreational opportunities through cooperative efforts
FANS – Partnership in providing and supporting Island Rec programs.

Outstanding Volunteer Service
Eileen Drath: for her work on the Know Your Island Walks and her dedication to the Trails Committee
Ron Lehman: for his work to remove the Scotch Broom from the Lafarge Property.        

Recognition of 5 years of Volunteer Service
Sue Fjellman, Louise Lelevich, Roger Salquist, Kristi Richardson, Jon Zerby, Sheila Olshefsky, Pat & Chris Curtin, Mike Erickson, Steve Brandli, Bob Benz


Six-Year Plan

Click the link to read or download a copy of Island Rec’s six-year plan: Island Rec Six Year Plan

Survey Results

Conservation Technix is pleased to present the results of the survey of the general population of San Juan Island assessing residents’ recreational needs, preferences and priorities. In close collaboration with staff and Parks Commissioners, Conservation Technix developed the 28-question survey which was estimated to take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. The survey was posted online via Island Rec’s website on April 28, 2011. Information about the survey was provided in the Summer edition of the Island Rec program catalog that was mailed to all residences during the first week of May. Additionally, advertisements were purchased in the Journal of the San Juans. Program users, stakeholders and civic groups were notified about the survey in person and via email. Print versions of the survey were available at the San Juan Island library, the Mullis Center and the Island Rec office. The survey was closed on May 21st, and preliminary data were compiled in advance of a community open house meeting hosted by Island Rec on May 25, 2011. A total of 280 completed surveys were recorded, which is a sufficient sample size to assess community opinions generally and to review findings by subgroups including gender and age. Since the survey was open to the general public, and respondents were not selected through statistical sampling methods, the results are not necessarily representative of all San Juan Island residents. Percentages in the report may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Click here to read the results of the survey