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Parks Recreation and Fair News

Posted on: August 30, 2023

San Juan County Parks and Fair Department to Break Ground on Capital Projects

Parks and Fair

SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. August 30, 2023 – The San Juan County Parks and Fair Department has several capital improvement projects slated to begin in September and be completed by late fall.

New Shark Reef Sanctuary Waterless Vault Toilets on Lopez IslandOrchard-Hills-Park-OH-2-LARGER-FILE

The two existing vault toilets at Shark Reef Sanctuary are slated for demolition in early September and will be replaced. A new Romtec waterless vault toilet is scheduled to be installed as soon as the building permit is issued and is anticipated to begin by mid-September. The building will include cedar exteriors to blend into the surrounding environment. The project should be fully completed by the end of October. Visitors will need to plan accordingly because there will not be any restroom facilities until the project is completed. The contract for the work was awarded to Big Rock Excavation. (Photo on the right is a Romtec Model 1008 like the one to be built at Shark Reef Sanctuary.)

model 1004 w privacy screenNew Eagle Cove County Park Permanent Vault Toilet on San Juan Island

The existing seasonal porta-potty is going to be replaced with a new permanent vault toilet. It will be built in the same area of the parking lot where the portable one has been and is anticipated to happen mid- to late-September.  The existing portable unit will be moved closer to the road for continued use until the project is completed. There will limited parking in the parking area while construction is underway. The contract for the work was awarded to Boss Construction, Inc. (Photo on the left is a Romtec Model 1004 like the one to replace the seasonal portable one at Eagle Cove Day Park.)

 New Shaw County Park Masonry Woodstove and Chimney

A contract has been awarded to Solstice Stonecraft to take down the existing masonry chimney and woodstove in the picnic shelter at Shaw County Park on Shaw Island.  Both structures have failed due to the cracks, presumably caused by chimney fires in the past that resulted in excessively high temperatures, and have been deemed unsafe to use. The new structures will have the same measurements and work is scheduled to begin September 18 and be completed by the end of September.  Both structures will need to cure for 30 days after completion, so no fires will be allowed until the Park Manager has waited the allotted cure time and then built and burned two small fires to break in the new stove fire brick. By November the picnic shelter masonry woodstove will once again be ready to warm and provide a safe cooking surface for visitors.

Shaw County Park Beach Access Stairs To Be Repaired

The beach access stairs at Shaw County Park are going to be repaired. The new stairs will be in the same location and footprint of the existing stairs to the beach at Indian Cove. There was a design contract that was awarded to Acorn Trail Works in February of this year.  The repair work, because it’s in an area of archaeological interest, will be monitored with an archaeologist on site during excavation. Work is scheduled to begin on September 11 and finish by September 22. During that time visitors will need to use the boat ramp for access to and from the beach.  The repair contract was awarded to Acorn Trail Works and the archaeological monitoring services are being provided by Caldera Archaeology.

 Media Contact: Carmel Rubin, Projects & Grants Coordinator,, 360.370.7453

 About San Juan County’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Fair     

San Juan County’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Fair oversees public parks on all four ferry-served islands, manages camping, and hosts the San Juan County Fair. The department offices are located at 849 Argyle Avenue, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Fair, visit


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