Friends of Skagit Beaches is working with the Port of Anacortes and City of Anacortes to install sixteen new interpretive signs between 17th Street and Guemes Channel. Join us on June 13th at the Seafarers' Memorial Park for a sign dedication ceremony and walking tour to see the new signs. Trail Tales docents will be available at the new signs to share stories about the topics portrayed in the signs. Join us for a guided tour, or you can pick up the new trail map and do your own self-guided walking tour. The Marine Technology Center will also be hosting an open house from 10:30 to noon as part of the event.
The new interpretive signs start on the sidewalk along Q Avenue in front of the Marine Technology Center, winds through the marina, and then jump to Guemes Channel. But on your way to Guemes Channel don't forget to stop at the Museum's interpretive signs by the W.T. Preston Snagboat and the Depot on R Avenue just north of the marina.
Have you wondered how these signs come about? Well it doesn't happen overnight. In fact, it takes about a year start to finish. A small group of individuals put in a lot of time and dedication to make it happen. Here's how it works . ..
June 2014 - The sign development process started when Betty Carteret (Friends of Skagit Beaches), Jan Hersey (Biz Point Communications), and Bret Lunsford (Anacortes Museum) walked the trail route and decided on the list of sixteen topics to be developed into sign panels. Betty then met with our partners from the Port of Anacortes and City of Anacortes to present the proposed signs, as well as the Department of Ecology, the agency funding the Trail Tales grant to reach agreement to proceed.
July 2014 – The signs are grouped into Discovery Points and the team gets down to work researching the sign topics, developing the story-line and sign text, and selecting images for the signs.
October 2014 - EDX Exhibits, an interpretive design firm in Seattle, was contracted to move the text and images into the graphic design templates that were developed by EDX for the original signs on the Tommy Thompson Trail. Becky Alexander, a talented EDX graphic designer, worked with Betty and Jan for seven months to perfect the text, images, and design for each Discovery Point.
April 2015 – The design team completed final reviews of design files for all 16 panels. Production-ready files are prepared to go to the sign manufacturer. The order for sixteen sign bases is placed and fabrication begins.
May 2015 - The manufacturer, IZone Imaging in Temple, Texas, begins the manufacturing of high-pressure laminate sign panels. High-pressure laminate is the industry standard material for interpretive signs that is used by the National Park Service. The manufacturing process is similar to making a Formica countertop or laminate flooring.
June 2015 – One year after the first idea list of sign topics was drafted, the new interpretive sign panels are delivered and ready to install on the trail – just in the nick of time for our ribbon cutting ceremony. It's been a long time coming – but we think you'll appreciate the final product.
Finally, we produced a new brochure and trail map that will be available at numerous locations around town including the Visitors Information Center, library, and Park & Recreation office. The brochure and the map will also be posted on the Friends of Skagit Beaches website and will be available at the June 13th dedication ceremony for the new interpretive trail section.
Can't get out to the trail? Art Shotwell Web Design is in the process of recreating the sign stories and images on the Trail Tales website hosted by the Friends of Skagit Beaches website. Just click on the Trail Tales logo to take an online tour of the signs. See you on the trail!