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 »
Wildflower Fest Completes Bloom Week
Contact: Raena Parsons, (360) 378-2240, ext. 2222
Contact: Mike Vouri, (360) 378-2240, ext. 2227
Contact: Doug Halsey, (360) 378-2240, ext. 2228
Learn where the wildflowers and birds are, peer over the shoulders of artists in action, play a game or catch a tune or two during San Juan Island National Historical Park's second annual Wildflower Festival, scheduled 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 11 on the American Camp parade ground.
The Festival is the culmination of Bloom Week, a weeklong celebration of spring for the whole family, scheduled May 5 - 11 at both English and American camps. All events are free and open to the public. See below or click here for a full slate of Bloom Week activities, dates and times. For special access information, please call the American Camp visitor center at (360) 378-2240, ext. 2228 or 2233.
Winners of the park's first Community Arts in the Park art contest also will be announced at the Wildflower Festival following a week of public judging at the American Camp visitor. Stop by the visitor center starting Saturday, May 4, look at the work and cast your vote.
The parade ground Festival will also feature representatives of nature conservation organizations such as Lime Kiln State Park; Bureau of Land Management; Wolf Hollow; San Juan Historical Society; Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve; Washington Native Plant Society; San Juan Chapter; San Juan Islands Conservation District; San Juan County Marine Resources Committee; San Juan Island Garden Club; Friends of Lime Kiln Society (FOLKS) and; Futurewise.
Activities for children include learning to create your own prairie ecosystem, junior ranger booklets with patches and badges, coloring books and much more.
But of course, nature willing, the biggest attractions to any wildflower festival are the wildflowers. In addition to park rangers, local botanists Madrona Murphy, Louisa Nishitani and North Cascades national Park botanist Regina Rochefortwill be available all day to seek out and discuss wildflowers from South Beach to the parade ground, as well as the Jakle's Lagoon/Mt. Finlayson trail network. Naturalist Susan Vernon will be will be available at the Redoubt to answer questions about the rare Island Marble butterfly. Or visitors can do their own sleuthing with the aid of the park's full-color wildflower brochure, featuring 28 plant varieties, available for a mere $1.50. The guide is also available now in the American Camp visitor center.
Bloom Week activities include: The Frazer Homestead walk with Historian Mike Vouri, at noon, Sunday, May 5; Wildflowers of San Juan Island NHP, a brief presentation at 11:30 a.m., Monday, May 5 at Mullis Center; Wildflowers with Local Students, meeting noon, Tuesday May 7 in the Jakle's Lagoon parking area; Wildflower Observations with Spring Street International School, meet at 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 8 at the American Camp Visitor Center; Wildflowers of San Juan Island National Historical Park, a presentation with Jerald Weaver and Mike Vouri meeting 6:15, Thursday, May 9 in the meeting room of the Village at the Harbor, 547 Spring Street and; A Wildflower Walk with the Friday Walkers, meeting 10 a.m., Friday May 10 at the American Camp Visitor Center.
Did You Know?
James Alden, commander of the USCS Steamer Active, carried dispatches during the Pig War crisis. During the Battle of Mobile Bay he led the Union fleet into the harbor until stalled by Confederate mines. That's when Admiral David G. Farragut shouted "Damn the torpedoes..."