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Friends Notes

Keep up to date with news from Friends of Skagit Beaches

Trail Tales Interpretive Signs

During the winter months, volunteers have been busy developing fifteen Trail Tales interpretive signs that will be installed by May 2013;  plus two signs that are being created by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Reserve program. Here is an update on our progress:

  • Signs will be organized into Discovery Points between 34th Street and March Point
  • Betty Carteret (Friends of Skagit Beaches Board President), Jan Hersey (Biz Point Communications), and Bret Lunsford (Anacortes Museum) have been developing sign content. 
  • EDX Edquist Davis Exhibit Designs in Seattle is creating the graphic design of the sign panels.  EDX is a well-known interpretive design firm and is currently working on a new interpretive center at the Grand Canyon and has quite a resume of exhibit designs around the US.
  • IZone Imaging in Texas will be manufacturing the high-pressure laminate signs.  They were selected from four prospective manufacturers and one of the key factors in their selection is their commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices.
  • Six signs between 34th and RV park will be installed by Anacortes Parks & Recreation Department and will be up in March. 
  • The remaining signs will be installed by end of May with assistance of Anacortes Parks & Recreation in time for the opening of our interpretive walk season.


Interpretive Bike Ride - September 29th

Trail Tales Docents will lead an interpretive tour via bicycles to visit a number of the Anacortes shoreline sites that are being cleaned up by the WA Department of Ecology. Join us to learn about the history of the sites going back to the 1890s and what's happening there today.

When: Saturday September 29th at 10AM to ~11:30AM

Starting Point: Meet at the Anacortes Farmer's Market at the Depot in front of the Snag Boat Museum.

Where we'll go - out to March Point along the Tommy Thompson Trail

In case of heavy rain or winds, we will reschedule for another date.

Do you know what this is? You'll find out on our ride.

Tommy Thompson Talk & Walk June 20

The Trail Tales Summer Interpretive Walk program is kicking off its summer schedule with our first outing on June 20th.  Please join Trail Tales docents for a short walk along the Tommy Thompson Trail to learn about the Custom Plywood Mill History and Clean-up Project.  Special guest Mayor Dean Maxwell will share his recollections of working at the mill during his youth.

Wednesday, June 20th at 10:00 -11:15 am: Meet at 34th Street on the Tommy Thompson Trail.  The walk is approximately 1 mile round trip on flat paved path. 

Trail Tales interpretive walks are free and open to the public.  Join us for an enjoyable journey of discovery. Click here to view a printable version of the Summer Walk Schedule.  Or visit our online event calendar.  Schedules are also available at the Anacortes Visitor Center, Parks Office and Anacortes Library.  

Trail Tales Docent Walks Calendar

The Summer 2012 schedule of Trail Tales guided walks is now posted on our event calendar!  10 walks along the Anacortes waterfront will explore subjects from tides & currents to Anacortes' mill history and more. 

Visit the calendar page to view the docent walk schedule.

Coming Soon - Trail Tales Shoreline Interpretive Program

Friends of Skagit Beaches, under funding from the Washington Department of Ecology’s Public Participation Grant program, is developing a new shoreline interpretive program in Anacortes along the shoreline of Fidalgo Bay. The project, called Trail Tales, will focus initially on the Tommy Thompson Trail and later expand to the shoreline of Guemes Channel. The goal of the project is to combine an opportunity to explore and learn more about our local history, marine and shoreline ecosystems, local watersheds and Ecology's Anacortes Baywide Cleanup Project. Ecology is partnering with the Port of Anacortes, Samish Indian Nation, and local landowners to cleanup a legacy of industrial pollution left behind by a century of lumber and wood processing industries.

The program will combine recreation and education providing an opportunity to learn while enjoying the natural beauty of our local shoreline. The statement below summarizes the interpretive theme for the project and sets the tone for developing educational materials and activities for the project. Trail Tales leads us on a journey to discover Fidalgo Bay’s natural beauty and its diverse ecology and history, while calling us to restore and protect it for future generations.

The project will be developing shoreline interpretive signs, training interpretive guides , designing a supporting website, hosting special educational presentations and events, and working with local schools and the arts community to engage the public in learning more about the our local history and environment and what role we play in the big picture. Friends is working with the WSU Skagit County Beach Watcher program to offer summer interpretive hikes and other outreach events throughout the year. In addition, the WWU Shannon Point Marine Center will be developing a Fidalgo Watershed class for all 8th grade students at the Anacortes Middle School. How can you get involved?

Sign up for our newsletter and “like” us on Facebook and you’ll receive announcements about what we’re doing and upcoming activities. Starting in June 2012, we’ll be rolling out interpretive programs open to the local community and visitors to the area. This will include interpretive hikes and special events that will be advertised via our website calendar, emails, Facebook page and in the Anacortes Parks & Recreation Summer Menu - and don’t forget to check the Anacortes American’s Community Calendar.

We’re excited about our kickoff event coming up June 9th, the first annual Fidalgo Shoreline Academy, a one-day symposium of presentations and interpretive hikes at the Fidalgo Bay Resort. To learn more, check out the agenda and register to attend at

See you on the trail!