SHIP Project Status
Construction of SHIP is broken into three phases. Phase 1 is comprised of nearly 1,800 feet of 5 foot ADA approved compressed gravel path from the cul de sac, with observation platforms, benches, interpretive nodes, shoreline access and signage. Construction for this phase began in September 2010, and will be completed by year’s end.
Phase 2 is a 1,020 feet 6 foot boardwalk trail that extends the project into the wetlands and further west towards the ferry terminal where it will eventually link with the WSDOT link to the ferry terminal. It will also have shoreline access points, interpretive nodes, bump outs and interpretive signage. The CIty of Anacortes has budgeted $275,000 in 2011 to complete this phase. Current planning would involve assistance from APF to provide project management and volunteer labor if needed.
Phase 3 is an outdoor teaching station and shelter with room for 30 students or visitors. It will have a natural floor, single wall to display materials, and perhaps a station to use educational programs by the SHIP Advisory Committee. Unfortunately this structure cannot be built until the issues with developers at the Edwards Way are satisfied. This would probably be a volunteer phase of the project.
Owned by the City of Anacortes, the Parks and Recreation Department, under the capable leadership of Gary Robinson, (also an APF Trustee) has the responsibility for completing the project. While SHIP continues to be monitored by its founder, Anacortes Parks Foundation, it is under the umbrella of the Parks Board, an advisory council for the City Parks and Recreation Department. Because the purpose of the project has to do with education, environmental protection, and public access concerns, a special committee consisting of naturalists, educators and scientists has been appointed to provide guidance on management of SHIP activities and programs. This body is under the capable leadership of Dr. Mark Backlund who has been a loyal and active member of the SHIP program since it began in 1995.
Original project plans included a formal trail system from the Washington State Ferry Terminal where ferry riders often visit the wetlands and beachfront. When built, SHIP will attract even more from the ferry terminal to the interpretive trail and beach while awaiting their ferries. While WSDOT originally agreed to construct the trail link on the western terminal with an ADA access trail, it lost its funding and users will continue to use informal trails from the terminal as they have in the past until funds are available. The Mayor of Anacortes and others continue to work with WSDOT to restore funding. Trail planning at the eastern terminal has been problematical because of developer issues. While the City continues to work with developers, SHIP will use temporary trails to access the formal section of the trail.
We invite the reader to keep this site on your “favorites” list and watch for developments. Not only do we anticipate the beginning of construction on Phase 1 in early 2010, the City of Anacortes and the APF Board is taking a new look at ways to attract funding to complete Phase 2, and will be looking for help.