• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • 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 »

Native Grasses

native grass
Roemer's fescue (above) and other native grasses were cultivated in 2010 in a demonstration garden located in front of the American Camp visitor center.
Mike Vouri

Native grasses

One of the park's major projects at San Juan Island NHP is to restore the grasslands to native vegetation at American Camp. This is critical to restore the health of the ecosystem as well as support native wildlife. Native Grasses are critical for many species. For example, the streaked horned lark, which was once a common breeder on the Cattle Point Peninsula, is no longer found here because it nests at the base of bunchgrass, which has been crowded out by non-native plant species.

Some of the native grasses that are being planted as part of the program are Sitka brome (Bromus sitchensis var. sitchensis), Jepson's blue wildrye (Elymus glaucus ssp. Jepsonii), and Roemer's fescue (Festuca roemeri).

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.