American and English Camps Visitor Centers Open Labor Day
The American and English camps visitor centers will be open on the Labor Day holiday, September 1. Call 360-378-2240, ext. 2226 or 360-378-4409 for information.
English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Winter Schedule
The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is closed for the season, starting September 2. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.
American Camp Visitor Center on Winter Schedule
The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 2 to June 6, 2015. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Telephone 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2226 for information. More »
Fresh winds moving in from the Pacific Ocean and mingling with the air in the Strait of Juan de Fuca create a high level of air quality in the San Juan Islands. These air currents reduce the amount of air pollutants settling over the islands.
The park’s air quality is evident in the plants that grow here. Lichens thrive in the forests of English Camp and Jakle’s Lagoon, as well as on glacial erratics on the American Camp prairie. These sensitive plants act as bioindicators, which give tips on the condition of the environment. The lichens absorb moisture, nutrients and other airborne substances through their entire surface area. As pollutant levels increase, lichens suck more pollutants into their systems, weaken and die.
Did You Know?
Camas bulbs were so highly prized by Northwest Indians for their creamy potato/baked pear taste that groups sometimes fought over the best growing areas, and people traveled great distances to harvest the bulbs and prepare them into thin, dry cakes. To ensure future harvests, the Indians burned the prairie regularly.