Guemes Island Community Center Association

Enriching and Connecting Our Island Community


 Island Happenings

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Guemes Island, Skagit County, WA, USA

Ferry Cams

Click here for full-size views

(Find out if there's a 2nd 11:15am sailing)

⛴ Catch the Ferry

Ferry times are provided as a courtesy and without guarantee.

Ferry departs from Guemes approximately 8 minutes after the listed times below. Crossing time approximately 5 minutes. Round-trip time approximately 20-25 minutes.

*Wednesday 9:15 AM to Guemes and 2:00 PM from Guemes are hazardous materials runs only. No other vehicles or passengers may travel on these runs.
▼ Click here to show times

Community Messages

Reminder: GICCA does not hold public in-person or virtual Association meetings during the months of June, July & August.


Complete Burn Ban in Effect for All of Skagit County

Due to elevated fire risk conditions and low moisture levels, Skagit County is issuing a complete burn ban beginning Friday, July 16, 2021. This ban will remain in effect until further notice.

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GIHS, Aug 9

Unknown children at the Strickland farm circa 1926.  Photo credit:  Allan Buchholz collection.

By Tom Deach

The last GIHS public meeting was held in March of 2020 and was highlighted by Barbara Spaeth's presentation on the Cahail family of Guemes Island. Since that time, the Covid 19 outbreak has precluded meetings of this sort.


Happily, we are now in a position to resume our meetings. Our next scheduled meeting will be Monday, August 9th at the Guemes Island Church. Our regular business meeting will begin at 5:45 with a presentation following at 7 pm.


This month's presentation will focus on the Rural Heritage grant and the processes it entails. Speakers will include Morna McEachern, president of the Guemes Island Library, and Klaudia Englund, a certified archivist and Guemes Island resident. It is our hope that this presentation will rekindle interest in Guemes Island History and inspire interested parties to submit photos and documents for inclusion in this worthwhile endeavor. Please contact Tom Deach by email at: or by phone 360-708-2582 with any questions.


Due to an abundance of caution, along with the newly pending CDC guidelines, masks will be required at this gathering.

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Celebrate Guemes!, Sept 4

Click on the image above to read the backside of the flyer

Our beloved Fall Festival is returning this year with a new name "Celebrate Guemes!", on Saturday, September 4th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Guemes Community Hall/Church campus.


Are you an artist, craftsperson, or musician? We need YOU!
Area artists and community members of all ages are invited to participate in this event that will showcase the vibrant arts, crafts, and music on Guemes Island.


For information or to reserve a booth space email,

Reserve now. Deadline August 21 for booth space.


Requirements change frequently but the event will be COVID-compliant. Masks will be required for everyone inside the Hall and encouraged in outside spaces.

Featured Artist: Sam Barr



Meet Sam Barr, Samish tribal citizen and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer who also creates works of art that honor his heritage. Sam’s ancestor’s have lived on Guemes Island for generations and learning about, preserving, and recreating parts of his history via carving, sculpture, and painting is Sam’s passion.

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2021 Social Connections

Staying connected in safe ways with friends and family is more important now than ever. GICCA has suggestions for virtual activities with friends, educational talks and virtual learning, and limited scheduled outdoor activities. Check out the Social Connections tab at the top of this Home page.

Still Need a COVID Vaccination?

If you're still looking for a COVID vaccination Skagit County Public Health wants to help.


The Health Department has provided on-island mobile clinics for homebound individuals or those who cannot easily travel. Undocumented residents can also receive vaccinations.


Please contact the Health Department's main line at 360-416-1500 to set up an appointment. Or you may contact Katherine Chapman, Communicable Disease Public Health Nurse, 360-399-0348,

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COVID-19 Updates

Washington re-opens June 30, with caveats. See the latest update from Governor Inslee on this page under Reality Check.



Variants of COVID-19 are surging in many states, including Washington. Skagit County is in the "Significant" range for community spread of the virus. Some breakthrough infections are occurring even among vaccinated individuals. The CDC and Skagit County Health are both recommending masks at indoor gatherings.


The Guemes Island Community Center and the Guemes Library are now requiring masks for public indoor gatherings whether you are vaccinated or not. If you are unvaccinated, please consider staying home for your own safety and that of others.


Subscribe here for the latest Skagit County COVID-19 updates and news.

The Help You Want

The Resources You Need

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are resources for help – help with alcohol or drugs, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, feeling depressed or anxious, or having trouble affording basic needs. To find these resources, or if you could use someone to talk to who is caring, compassionate, and confidential, visit:
No judgment. No pressure. Just resources for help.

Meet Your Neighbor

Photo provided by the McCracken family
Phil McCracken, Long-time Guemes Resident and Art Legend - A difficult period of pandemic isolation is punctuated by the loss of another longtime islander and renowned artist, Philip Trafton McCracken. Phil passed away after a long illness on June 6, 2021, at the age of 92.

"Though most will remember Philip primarily as the renowned artist he was, his family and close family friends will hold the memory of a complicated but dearly loved man who adored family gatherings, took a childlike pleasure in small moments, never aged out of playing animals with young children, loved dreamy whimsy and strange little objects as much as he loved esoteric ideas and theoretical paradigms, relished telling humorous stories about the past, had a distinctively wry smile and a memorable high pealing laugh." For the complete tribute and obituary provided by his family, click here.

Phil's art lives on in many public venues and in private homes. For a map of Phil's sculptures accessible for public viewing, click here.

As a mentor, Phil drew a number of artists to Guemes Island. His legacy of connecting to the mysterious energies of the animal and plant world continues to inspire generations of new artists. Guemes provides a nurturing sanctuary for all the creative arts.
Adam Mimnaugh, What It Means to Be an Islander - After years of discussion, many options considered, an architect consulted, bids entertained, grants denied, budgets constrained, and many heads scratched, the Guemes Island Community Center Hall finally has a new front porch and walkway. Wheelchairs and food carts can now reach the front door unimpeded by stairs or detours onto gravel. Only two steps now lead onto the deck to reach the Guemes Library. Soon the walkway near the Church will also be repaired providing a smooth interconnection between facilities.

The community is grateful to islander Adam Mimnaugh, Mimnaugh Excavation, and his crew for a job well done. Thanks to workers Dan Raynor, Adam Pahnke, Chris LeBoutillier, and Max Boucher. Several other volunteers also lent their expertise to the project and wish to remain unacknowledged. Mimnaugh is donating the labor costs with the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) covering the cost of materials. Retired builder and resident, Bill Heft, worked with Adam to develop the plan and elevations. Bill was part of the crew that leveled and finished just over 10 yards of concrete.

Mimnaugh Excavation has been serving the Guemes Island community since 2003. Adam offers professional service for Guemes Island residents that includes general excavation, septic system installation and inspections, utilities, road building, and more. Adam and most of his employees live and work right here on Guemes Island. With their equipment here on the island, Adam has the ability to get whatever is needed to a job site minimizing delays and commute costs.

“Being an islander” means sharing your success and giving back to the community. Over the years Adam has employed many islanders and has donated equipment time, labor, and materials to a number of island community projects including the Stage Project at Schoolhouse Park, Kelly’s Point, and now the welcoming new entrance to our 107-year-old Community Center Hall.

The GICCA Board and the Guemes community wish to thank Adam and his crew and all the volunteers!
David and Paul on the beautiful bench made for the Dog Woods entry meadow by John Hoenselaar
Paul Beaudet and David Wertheimer -

Photo and narrative provided by David Wertheimer

Paul Beaudet and David Wertheimer have been island residents since 1998 when they visited Guemes after reading Valerie Easton's article "The Secret Gardens of Guemes" in the Seattle Times. Paul and David purchased a home at Kelly's Point where they spent nearly every weekend since, commuting back to Seattle for work on weekdays.  With David's retirement in 2019 and a shift to remote work during the pandemic, they now consider Guemes their permanent year-round home.

Paul is the Executive Director of the Wilburforce Foundation, which works to protect and preserve North American wildlands.  David retired after 13 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he served in various roles on the Pacific Northwest team and as Director of Community & Civic Engagement.  Both have been actively involved in island organizations over the years.  Paul served on the Community Center board for 7 years, David served on the board of Friends of Guemes Island, is an occasional speaker at the Guemes Island Church, and both have been involved in various land conservation campaigns, including the efforts to save Guemes Mountain and to permanently protect Kelly's Point.  David has also stepped in to serve as a Commissioner for the Guemes Island Fire Department after the tragic and untimely death of Frank Crawford.

A few notes on Dog Woods:  After years of walking past the wooded parcels on West Shore Road on a regular basis, Paul and David decided in 2020 to acquire 120 acres of woodlands, portions of which had, in the past, been heavily logged.  The land is designated as forest land.  They call the property "Dog Woods," both to honor the Samish history of the island as a place where this First Nation community raised their unique Woolly Dogs, and to celebrate the dogs that populate and enjoy the island today.  Paul and David are working with local naturalists Peter Dunwiddie and Samantha ("Sam") Martin to learn more about the unique features of the Dog Woods environment, and to determine the best ways to nurture the forest lands and restore its full health. Their primary goals in the years ahead are to remove invasive weeds, restore and enhance the native plants, and maintain a trail network to welcome community access.  In time, they plan to donate the land to Skagit Land Trust.  (For additional information, see:

David and Paul planting paper birches at Dog Woods, a restoration forest (ARF!)

Photo Credit: Mary Lascelles

Dog Woods is truly becoming a community effort.  There are numerous community members involved with Dog Woods that we'd like to acknowledge.  These individuals include, (in no specific order):
  • Jimmie and Lu Lemieux (who are building the Dog Woods trail network)
  • Rick Petrick
  • John Hoenselaar
  • Sam Barr and Eric Licata
  • Manuel, Lynette, Ioanna, Elia and Aiden Mattke
  • Jim, Joanne and Lisa Cieko
  • Dyvon Havens and Jep Burdock
  • Rebecca and Bud Ullman
  • Terri and Joe Gaffney
  • Barbara and Randy Schnabel
  • Jeff Hale and Mary Parker-Hale
  • Robert Olson
  • Marc Beaudet
John Strathman, Adventure During A Pandemic - John Strathman is no stranger to memorable moments on the water. He’s been kayaking in the Pacific Northwest for years. Since moving to Guemes Island in 2014, John has kayaked in the 2015 inaugural  R2AK “Race to Alaska” (Port Townsend, WA to Ketchikan, AK), rowed in two “SEVENTY48s,” (Tacoma to Port Townsend), and completed a solo kayak adventure from Ketchikan to Guemes. His most recent leisurely trip around the San Juans with his friend, Tim, was memorable in its own way.

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NOTE: The stalwart Odyssey has been repaired “good as new” and is safely tucked away, awaiting next year’s “moments.”

Tom Sternberg, GICCA Board Member -
The GICCA Board welcomes its newest Board member, Tom Sternberg, who was recently appointed to fill the vacant Trustee position. Like many of us, Tom and his partner Virginia’s visits to Guemes grew into a desire for a peaceful, rural place to make their full-time home. The pandemic changed their work situations and working from home became the required option. A small tight-knit rural community with an active community center was just the place they were looking for.

Tom quickly made friends with neighbors and fellow ferry passengers. Community involvement is important to Tom and he was interested to learn more about our island organizations and activities. A recent opening on the GICCA Board provided him with the opportunity to bring his work and hobby experience to the Community Center Association. He answered the call and submitted a letter of interest. The GICCA Board voted unanimously to appoint Tom to the Board.

Currently a high-end web and software developer, Tom has also worked in the restaurant industry in both staff and management positions. He started his own commercial landscape business overseeing five condominium complexes. Acting as the general contractor, Tom built two homes and remodeled three in the Seattle area. These varied and useful skills will be invaluable to the Association and to our island community. Tom’s enthusiasm and willingness to be involved are his greatest assets. He has already hit the ground running and is helping to design GICCA’s new “sister” website that will feature the many artists of Guemes Island.

We welcome Tom and Virginia and their sweet dog, Trigger, to our community
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You – An Encore Performance - This month we are, once again, featuring YOU because you deserve an encore!  YOU are a neighbor. YOU are a part of what makes us a community.

In the recent CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) Newsletter, Public Health Matters, we are reminded that “the word community can mean different things." It can describe a geographic area, a group of people with shared interests, or a feeling of teamwork and fellowship.” At the core is YOU.

The Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR) is a part of the CDC and they outline ways that YOU can create community where you live. The following are excerpts and links from the CPR’s “create community” newsletter.

Care for Each OtherTake care of yourself and others.
The greatest strengths of a community might be its people and their relationships with each other. People who are personally prepared, invested, and socially connected are often better able to protect themselves and more willing and ready to help others through adversity.

Improve AccessSupport the needs of the whole community.
Community health preparedness and resilience is not achieved until everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as prepared as possible. It is the shared responsibility of the whole community to find ways to make preparedness more inclusive, available, and achievable for everyone.

Lead by ExampleInspire others’ healthy behaviors.
Get in the habit of being a preparedness role model for your family and in your community. Modeling healthy behaviors, attitudes, and habits, like getting a seasonal flu vaccine and frequent handwashing, can inspire others to do the same.

Get InvolvedTake action to help improve everyone’s health and resilience.
People who are resilient and ready to care for their neighbors can have positive and even life-saving impacts on their neighbors and in their communities at large. Response training and exercises, donations, and volunteerism are just a few of the many ways that you can help yourself and others prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency.

The Guemes Island Community Center Association has recently posted, on our website and on island bulletin boards, a list of our Top Ten Volunteer Opportunities. YOU can help to “create community.” There are many ways, even during a pandemic, to safely connect with or inspire others, to become more resilient, and to become more involved. Whether it is just neighbor helping neighbor or through greater involvement with island organizations, your efforts will build “community.”
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Dog Island Dogs, Then and Now - The dogs of “Dog Island” are carrying on the long tradition of canine companions on Guemes Island. Few bear resemblances to the historical “wool dogs” raised by the Samish tribes in the late 1700s and early 1800s, except for one island favorite, Dakoda, or “Koda”, as he's best known.

The now extinct Wool Dogs were described as looking like the modern-day Spitz and stood about 17 inches high with long white fur. They were raised in “flocks” on Guemes and other nearby islands and kept separated from other village dogs in order to preserve their prized white fur. They were shorn like sheep and the fur was woven into blankets used as valuable trade items. As island settlement displaced the native tribes, the weavers switched to more accessible sheep wool and the Wool Dogs became extinct.

One-year-old Koda joined the family of Wendy Saver and Dave Rockwood in 2012 as a rescue from a local animal shelter. It was one of those “meant-to-be” moments when the planets were aligned and the time was right. Koda found his new family and a happy life on Guemes Island. He was “Best Dog” at Wendy and Dave’s wedding on North Beach in 2018.

Although not genetically related to the Samish Wool Dogs, Koda has become an island mascot and a source of smiles for many as he greets ferry passengers and crew and, before the pandemic, made regular appearances at island events. The pandemic is difficult for such a social dog (and for social humans, as well) but Wendy and Dave appreciate Koda’s companionship as he helps them adjust to social distancing and fewer opportunities to gather with friends. A romp on the beach or a roll in the dirt will have to suffice for now. Our furry, or woolly, or feathered, finned, scaled, or otherwise, pet-friends are helping us all through these difficult times.

If you'd like us to feature your animal companion and share your story, please contact us at
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Guemes Island Fire Chief Gerry Francis Retires -

In July, Guemes Island Fire Chief Gerry Francis retired after 12 years of service to our community.

Gerry’s history with the Guemes Island Fire Department is chronicled in archived issues of the Guemes Tide (see In the October 2010 issue of the Tide, Edith Walden writes that Gerry and his wife Lorraine “first moved to Guemes from Utah in 2004, when Gerry retired as a maintenance planner with Kimberly-Clark. They constructed their home on Samish Street in 2005. In November 2006, a storm threw a huge fir tree through their bedroom roof at 5:30 a.m., just missing Lorraine’s head. Gerry remembers the impressive help they received from then Fire Chief Carl Meinzinger and fire volunteers Bob and Nancy White. In 2008, at age 66, Gerry joined the Guemes Island Fire Department after seeing a recruiting flyer.” Gerry’s life was anything but boring after that.

The required firefighter training and rigorous emergency medical technician (EMT) training program are challenging for even young recruits. At age 66, Gerry excelled, graduating as class valedictorian at the recruit academy. Gerry was certified as an EMT in January 2011 after many hours of home study, classroom training, exams, and volunteer shifts in an ambulance and an emergency room.

The Board of Fire Commissioners for Fire District 17 appointed Gerry Francis to the assistant chief’s position in 2011. In 2014, Gerry was promoted to chief. As a first responder to many medical and fire emergencies on Guemes, Chief Francis has provided compassionate care to those in need. He has led his dedicated team of volunteers in protecting home and property from fire, as well as mitigating storm damage until other emergency responders can arrive.

Mentoring new firefighters strengthens every fire department while providing continuity of service. Gerry has mentored newly appointed Fire Chief Olivia Snell, who served as assistant chief for the past five years.

A grateful community wishes to thank Gerry Francis for his many years of service. In addition, we thank Gerry’s wife, Lorraine, who is also stepping away from the fire department where she served as Public Information Officer and “Chief Chef.” They will both be missed on the front lines.
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Joan Palmer Knows How To “Bee” Kind -

... submitted by Tom Deach


Early this spring I received a call from Joan Palmer on South Shore Road. She was looking for someone who might till up a small wild flower bed for her. As a result, after meeting with Joan and her friend, Heather Miller, I agreed to do what I could to help her out. About a week later, in between the cold rains which dominate our spring days, I was able to fit the job in. When I arrived I was a little apprehensive to begin working because neither Joan, nor Heather, was there to supervise the extent of the tilling, but I also knew Joan was also apprehensive about being too “late for wildflowers.” I went to work finishing the job just as the next rain squall moved in. I was disappointed with the final product, which was an area about 25' X 40', and quite dismal looking; a patch of dirt, chopped up grass and of course an abundance of Guemes rocks overshadowed by the gray sky above, which darkened a gloomy Guemes channel. As I pushed the tiller back towards my truck, I noticed how beautiful her manicured gardens would become as the weather warmed, renewing life. Joan called me when she arrived home very pleased with the new garden area, stating it was just as she had imagined. “What do I owe you?” Remembering what it looked like when I left it, I couldn't put a value on it. We agreed a donation to the Guemes Island Historical Society would satisfy both parties.

Fast forward to mid-June. Another call from Joan: “You need to see what we created, I'm so grateful for your help.” Chuck Farrell helped too, she added. He had smoothed out and tamped down the tilled area in preparation for the seed. I promised to stop by and take a look. While walking from the truck I couldn't help but notice the garden's transformation since my last visit, trees and flowers blooming with birds and bees everywhere. Along the pathway I was greeted by California poppies, a bright orange glow, a seeming reflection of the sun.  
Volunteer California Poppies
Continuing along, flowers to my left; to the right a garden area with veggies, trees and of course, more flowers snuggled by the inevitable deer fencing. And then, a few steps further on, there they were: wildflowers galore. No more chewed up grass and dirt mixed with rock; in it's place white and pink and blue and yellow get the picture: spectacular!  
The Garden
Joan and Heather enjoying the view
Walking with Joan, she names the flowers in her gardens, introducing each of them to me. She smiles at both the flowers and me. She understands that I know nothing about flowers, but we share a common attraction to the scene surrounding us, the fragrances, bright colors and beauty that the flowers bring. We are not alone. Birds and bees of all manner abound, with butterflies beginning to arrive as summer approaches. Joan's dream is for wildflower gardens to cover our island. Joan's wish is to share her garden with these pollinators and two legged islanders as well. She would love for visitors to see it and perhaps become inspired to create their own joyful habitat for our all important friends, the birds, butterflies and of course, the Bees!  
Joan pointing at the bees
Covid 19 has upset the way we visit, however with careful social distancing and wearing masks the gardens could be viewed in a responsible, safe, way. If you would like to see this spectacular garden, please contact Joan. Email: or by phone: 360-202-2540 to make an appointment for viewing.
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2020 Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarship Winners -

Photo L to R: Anna Prewitt, Jefferson Butler, Rivers Olson

Three outstanding Guemes Island high school students were recently awarded this year’s Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarships. Anna Prewitt received the Gold Award of $1500, Jefferson Butler received the Silver Award of $1000, and Rivers Olson received the Bronze Award of $500. Instead of the normal awards reception at the Church honoring the students, this year COVID-19 restrictions forced members of the Scholarship Committee, wearing masks, to visit the homes of each winner to present their certificate and monetary award. Congratulations to all three!

Anna: I am happy to be the recipient of a Guemes Gold Scholarship. I'm a senior at Anacortes High School for a few more weeks. I enjoy debate, playing the clarinet and piano, tennis, and journalism, as well as volunteering in the community. I am thrilled at the opportunity to continue my education, which this scholarship helps make possible. I will pursue my passions in chemistry and English next year at Pomona College in Claremont, California. After college, I hope to go on to earn a graduate degree and continue learning as a teacher.

Jefferson: I am a senior at Anacortes High, set to graduate on June 17. Throughout my high school years, I have tried on many hats, and some have fit better than others. During my freshman and sophomore years, I was a dedicated member of the robotics team at the high school – learning basic software development and machine shop skills. I also played the French Horn and Trumpet under three different band directors. In my later high school years, I dedicated myself more to my future plans – looking at post-secondary education paths and careers. Currently, I plan to join the crew of a yacht as soon as I'm done with classes. Next fall I hope to attend Claremont McKenna College or Harvey Mudd College. I am so incredibly lucky to have a community that supports my dreams so passionately. Thank you Guemes, and thank you Betty Crookes!

Rivers: Hello, I am Rivers Olson. I have lived on Guemes Island all my life and have grown up in the community. I really enjoy being outside and engaging with friends and family. I was homeschooled up until my sophomore year and excelled when I went to high school. I am attending Western Washington University this coming fall and plan on majoring in a health profession to help people. I will use the Guemes Gold scholarship to help pay for tuition, books, and school supplies. I would like to thank the Guemes Gold Committee and Betty Crookes for this opportunity.


Betty Crookes co-founded the Guemes Gold Scholarship Program in 1991 along with members of the Women’s Club. When the Club dissolved, other island organizations and individuals made sure the program continued. The Guemes Island Property Owners Association (GIPOA) hosted the program for eleven years and now passes the program to the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA). A hardworking and dedicated Scholarship Committee continues the logistical work and fundraising. The committee members include co-chairs Janice Veal and Jan Ebersole, Julie Hopkins, Betsy Ockwell, Carol Pellett, and Susan Rombeek.

Applicants for the scholarships must be Guemes residents and are evaluated on successful progress toward completion of their secondary education, concern for the environment and community, and their involvement in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, hobbies, artistic interests, and jobs. They are asked to provide a school transcript or grade level examination if homeschooled as well as two letters of recommendation.

You can help to keep this worthwhile program going by making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Committee through the Guemes Island Community Center Association. Checks should be made out to GICCA with “Guemes Gold Scholarship” in the memo field and mailed to GICCA at 7549 Guemes Island Road, Anacortes, WA 98221. Checks can also be given to members of the Scholarship Committee.
Read bios from the students

Phil McCracken

Photo provided by the McCracken family.

A difficult period of pandemic isolation is punctuated by the loss of another longtime islander and renowned artist, Philip Trafton McCracken. Phil passed away after a long illness on June 6, 2021, at the age of 92.

Read more about this legend's life and art

Next-Gen Schoolhouse Park Playground

Please join a playground "community conversation" at Schoolhouse Park on September 11 at 10:00 AM where several potential playground designs will be presented, and you can talk to playground experts.


We invite you to join us in our effort to bring new life to the playground at Schoolhouse Park! Last updated in 2001, the Schoolhouse Park Playground needs to meet current safety standards. GICCA is working with Skagit County Parks and Recreation to develop a plan and find funding to renovate our playground structure and bring it into compliance with national safety standards. The project planning phase will take place in the summer and fall of 2021 with the hope of making it all happen in 2022. The county budget is expected to include about half the cost for the full renovation.


August may be a great time for a fun family field trip to check out other playgrounds and complete a questionnaire with your opinions. What do kids like? What should we try to include or exclude? Questionnaires are available at the playground or can be downloaded here and should be returned to GICCA at the end of August for your comments to be incorporated into proposed designs.


Designs should be finalized by the end of the year. GICCA will be seeking grants to supplement county funding. If parents or grandparents wish to sponsor a favorite piece of playground equipment, please contact GICCA at

Pickleball on Guemes

The community celebrated in July when Skagit County refinished the tennis court and added pickleball lines as well. The pickleball courts are a wonderful enhancement to Schoolhouse Park and increase the use of this multi-sport court. A kickoff pickleball event on Jule 24th offered free instruction, loaner equipment, and popsicles. GICCA is supporting this community activity with the purchase of two portable pickleball nets.


Regular pickleball practice with two nets and courts (with some instruction) is on Thursdays at 5:30 PM and Sundays at 9:00 AM.


Skagit County Parks asked that we remind folks to protect the new surface of the court; it is for feet with shoes and not for wheels or dogs. Please no bikes or skateboards.


A storage cabinet on the north side of the court is intended to store paddles, balls, portable nets, and a broom. It will have a small combination lock to keep things secure (but no treasure, cash, rare artifacts, or valuables will be found inside).

Crab Season Begins July 15

Guemes Island sits within the Sub-Area 7 South, South San Juan Islands/Bellingham. Crab season within this area is July 15 through September 30, Thursday through Monday each week. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are closed. Dungeness crab limit is 5 males, 6.25” minimum size. A Catch Record Card is required and comes with your WA fishing license.


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) states that all fishing gear must be removed from the water by one hour after sunset on the last day of any fishing period. Crab fishing gear may not remain in the water on closed days.
WDFW reminds us that we are the stewards of this valuable NW resource. Following the fishing rules ensures that sustainable fishing opportunities continue into the future.

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GICCA Stage Project Progress

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Click here to view an enlarged slideshow and read more updates.

Stage Update

As the physical structure of the community stage nears completion, the focus has shifted to landscape preparation — grading, rocks, fill, and plantings. The Special Use Permit application has been submitted to the County and is pending approval, once the required landscaping is completed. This permit is required by the County before any events can take place at the stage.


Volunteers Needed

GICCA is seeking volunteers to work in small teams to help with landscape preparation and plant installation. Our building permit requires that certain landscaping conditions be completed prior to occupancy approval. If you can help with weed removal, raking, string trimming, planting, staking, and eventually watering and weeding, please contact one of the following people to sign up: Kathy Whitman 206-334-1573 (cell) or Barb Ohms (303)521-9094 (cell).

Thank You to Our Generous Donors!

Generosity runs deep in our community; we have come together over this past year to support each other in so many ways.  The GICCA Board of Directors thanks you for your generous support.


GICCA is a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We appreciate your financial support. You can find out about ways to donate here.

COVID-Safe Ways to Volunteer

Volunteering is not only helpful to others it is rewarding for you and good for your mental health. GICCA has many suggestions for COVID-safe volunteering.


GICCA’s Virtual Lecture Series is seeking one or two volunteers to help coordinate and manage group presentations on Zoom.

We have several interesting speakers lined up, but we need a Zoom leader to help make these a positive experience for both speakers and attendees. If you are interested, please email

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Join Our Mailing List

Receive our monthly e-newsletter

Guemes Island Community Center Association email lists on other island websites are no longer used for GICCA mailings of any kind. To receive GICCA news, please click below to subscribe.

Reality Check

WA Reopens with Caveats


On June 30, 2021, Governor Inslee announced that Washington State is now open for business and recreation, with some warnings and conditions.


Individuals who are fully vaccinated may proceed as normal, pre-pandemic. Unvaccinated people are required to wear masks indoors and in public places. Everyone is still required to mask in doctor’s offices, hospitals, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, on public transportation, and in schools. Businesses may still enforce masking and distancing requirements at their discretion.


According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention), COVID vaccines are working well but no vaccine is 100% effective. Some healthy people who are fully vaccinated could still get sick. Vulnerable individuals with compromised immune systems or chronic health conditions, and the elderly may be more susceptible to infection even if they are fully vaccinated. COVID variants continue to emerge and unvaccinated people are at risk.

Read more


To protect yourself and others, consider wearing a mask in crowded public spaces even if you are fully vaccinated. If you are unvaccinated, please wear a mask.


Heart-Felt Thanks

To the doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacy and other medical workers, police officers, home-care workers, grocery store personnel, delivery people, transit workers, airline workers, and anyone who serves the public .....

Thank you for your bravery, dedication, and sacrifice during the COVID crisis.
You are truly heroes!


And to all of you who are continuing to heed the advice of health experts - getting vaccinated and masking-up when recommended/required  ... we applaud you as well!

Thank you for demonstrating respect for others and for doing the right thing!

Helpful Links

CERT - Community Emergency Response Team

  • CERT Neighborhood Sectors & Volunteer List
  • CERT Description
  • CERT Household Preparedness
  • CERT Neighborhood Procedures
  • CERT Questionnaire
  • Search & Rescue Sign

Emergency Preparedness - 'do1thing'


Earthquake early-warning notifications

GICCA Facilities & Forms

  • Schedule GICCA Facilities
  • Hall Rental Agreement
  • Hall Amenities
  • Volunteer Waiver (Stage)

Guemes Island Fire Department (GIFD)

Guemes Island Ferry Committee (GIFC)

Guemes Island Library (GIL)

Guemes Island Planning Advisory Committee (GIPAC)

What's Up, Guemes? (FB)

Guemes Island General Store (FB)

Guemes Tide and Evening Star Archives

Ferry Notifications (Unplanned outages, etc)

Explore Skagit Valley

On Deck

Weather Map

Mobile? Click 'Rain/Snow' tag for options

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of AmazonSmile purchases to their customers' chosen charitable organization. Guemes Island Community Center Association is registered on AmazonSmile. So, if you’re already shopping anyway, why not let Amazon make a small donation to GICCA - at no additional cost to you or GICCA!

How does it work?

  • Click on the AmazonSmile box (right) which brings you to the AmazonSmile GICCA page
    (you might want to bookmark that page to easily find it again).
  • Sign in to Amazon as usual.
  • Then, just shop as you normally would!

Click here to see how much you have made GICCA smile. Thank you!

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