2016 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 2016 were Commissioners Scott Zehner (chair), Jacquelyn Reiff, Bill Cumming, Adam Eltinge and Tracy Roberson, who vacated the position in October.


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.



2016 was the first year of the 38.5 cent levy passed in April of 2015 and the first year of a new inter-local agreement with the school district.  Island Rec utilizes 18.5 cents of this levy, school sports is funded with 12 cents of this levy and eight cents of this levy is used for the maintenance and operations of John O. Linde Community Park, which the school district owns. The operating expenses totaled $1,097,132 with 24% allocated for school sports and 17% allocated for maintenance and operations of Linde Park.


The budget specific to Island Rec totaled $709,554.  Tax dollars paid 59% of Island Rec’s budget.  Program fees paid 28% of all budget expenses and revenue generated by other fees, grants and sponsorships accounts for 13%.


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 $13,500 and a grant from the Honeywell Charitable Foundation for the playground at John O. Linde Community for $6012.00.  The total contribution from FANS was $19,512.  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.  New this year, FANS offered concessions at all the Music on the Lawn nights.  Additionally, FANS provided 135 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 2016, the second payment of $125,731 was made.


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


Island Rec’s Director Maddie Ovenell completed her first year. Lowell Jons, the Youth and Family Recreation Specialist completed his second year.  Morgan Johnston, the Sports Recreation Specialist completed her fourth year.  After two years of service Jordan Reinhart resigned and Christy Haase replaced him in December as the School’s Out Program Coordinator.  Julie Daquelente resigned and Heidi White returned in April as the Administrative Assistant.  Brian Cool started in January in a newly created position for Island Rec as the Park Maintenance Superintendent.  His employment end in October and Tracy Roberson replaced him in the position.  Island Rec employed 30 seasonal and part-time employees working Camp Eagle Rock, Sailing Classes, STAR, Open Gym, Open Fair Building and other specialty programs. 


Parks, Trails and Open Space

Island Rec operates five parks: The Family Park and Skate Park at the Fairgrounds, Eddie & Friends Dog Park, Lafarge (Gravel Pit) Open space and John O. Linde Community Park as of January 1, 2016.


Expenses for all parks (excluding John O. Linde Community Park) and the Trails Committee account for 8% of Island Rec’s budget with 13% of tax dollars collected financing them.   Regular trash pick up and general maintenance occurs for these parks daily during spring, summer and fall, and adjusted in the winter based on usage.


The operations and maintenance of John O. Linde Community Park is a multi-phase process. In 2016, Island Rec assumed responsibility for the maintenance building, soccer field and softball field in addition to the main field house.  Island Rec was responsible for installation of the playground at the field, which took place October 1, 2016 with the help of over 40 community volunteers.  We received additional funding for the playground from the Town of Friday Harbor, San Juan County and the Honeywell Charitable Fund of The Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region.  



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 2016 recreation program were:

  • The STAR program participation stayed steady with an average of 26 participants daily.
  • Camp Eagle Rock enrollment was increased to 80 campers each week.  Additionally we also added two additional weeks of camp once CER ended.  These two weeks had a max enrollment of 40 campers each week and both weeks filled.
  • Two new pre-school age programs occurred during the summer, Art Explorers and Playtime Circus.
  • TREC program participation increased from 315 students to 408 students.
  • A new event, Hill of Thrills Soapbox Race was added to our annual calendar in May.  This family event had just over 20 participants build a car and run the course located on Park Street.
  • This year we developed a new partnership with Spring Street School to offer additional summer programs for youth.  In total, six new programs were added during the summer.
  • Music on the Lawn, which started in 2000, increased to one more day this summer.  We now offer a total of six nights of music in July and August as this popular summer event.

The Resolution Run, a new community running event which takes place on January 1, was added in 2016.    

  • A new Mother Son Scavenger Hunt was added in the spring.  After hosting an on-line survey, the community chose this as an annual event.


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
  • SJI 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
  • Spring Street School
  • San Juan County Fairgrounds


Since 2008 Island Rec’s Board has recognized individuals, businesses and organizations with its Shining Star Awards and Volunteer Appreciation.  Island Rec had the support of just over 110 volunteers who contributed more than 1300 hours providing park and recreation programs and services for San Juan Islanders. Award recipients for 2016 were:


Community Spirit Award

Selfless giving of goods, services and or financial support

            San Juan Nature Institute

            Providing many years of quality nature programming to Camp Eagle Rock.



Partnership Award

Commitment to providing recreational opportunities through cooperative efforts


            Partnership in supporting Island Rec programs.


Outstanding Volunteer Service

Kim Fitts

Providing key leadership for the Children’s Festival for several years.


Recognition of 5 years of Volunteer Service

            Donna Riley

            Cinda Pierce

            Mark Pierce

            Karla Sabin

            Jan Bollwinkel-Smith

            Todd Kromer

            Kyle Loring

            Shannon Rishel

            Susan Mazzarella

            Tracy Roberson

            Brad Fincher


Recognition of 10 years of Volunteer Service

            Fred Woods

            Cathy Kromer

            John Boyd

            Alice Hurd

            Marc Islam

            Scott Zehner

            Eileen Drath

            John Dustrude

            Dave Zeretzke


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