Dick Warwick, Cowboy Poet and Songster, to perform at the Guemes Island Community Center Nov 3

Dick Warwick, Cowboy Poet and Songster, to perform at the Guemes Island Community Center Nov 3

Dick Warwick is a man of diverse talents. He’s a fiddler in the Urban Coyote Bush Band and an artisan who crafts silverware into sculptures. He’s a cowboy who still bucks hay bales and a songster who’ll sing you a tune. He’s a poet whose writings reflect the life he’s lived in the rural west. And, he’s a man whose poetry has taken him around the world.

This sought-after bard has performed throughout the US and Australia for over 20 years. His honors include winning the Cowboy Idol poetry competition at the Columbia River Cowboy Festival, being all-around champion at the Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Utah and featured poet multiple times at Nevada’s and Colorado’s Cowboy Poetry Gatherings and Australia’s National Folk Festival. He also bears the distinction of being selected as a cultural ambassador by the US Consul in Western Australia.

Warwick authored the book “Out West to Outback and Beyond” and his poems have been published many times in the Australian Anthology “The Swagman’s Book of Verse.”

As for recordings, he’s got nine under his belt! His latest two, "Cowboy Poetry Lite" and "Cowboy Poetry Plus," were both Western Music Association finalists for cowboy poetry CD

of the year.


This event is being presented by The 4 Chicks – the four-woman team of Cheryl Mansley, Suzie Gwost, Lorrie Steele and Libby Hinds Boucher. The 4 Chicks believe in creating community events with a “down-home” feel.


So, on Saturday, November 3rd, round up your posse, put on your boots and mosey on over to the Guemes Island Community Center at 7549 Guemes Island Road for some cowboy music and poetry. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $15/person suggested donation @ the door. Cowhand-style refreshments will be served during intermission. Feel free to come in cowboy and cowgirl attire!


The Community Center is less than half a mile from the ferry dock on Guemes. For more information, contact Cheryl Mansley at 304-702-0554 or cherylmansley@gmail.com.

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Meet Your Neighbor – Karen Lamphere

Meet Your Neighbor - Karen Lamphere

Karen Lamphere will bring a new perspective to our GICCA board. She has a Master's degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University and recently retired after 15 years in private practice. Our luminary and rock painting classes piqued Karen's interest in GICCA offerings.

We look forward to some possible new workshops utilizing the Community Center kitchen and Karen's nutrition experience. Music is also a passion for Karen. She graced our talent show with a piano performance and sang a rendition of "Make You Feel My Love," by Adele. Karen is married to Tim, a retired electrical inspector, and has a son who is a professional musician in New York City.
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Meet Your Neighbor – Chris Skinner

Meet Your Neighbor - Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner greets everyone with a smile and a wave as she and her dog Hemp walk the Island roads. Guemes has rekindled a creative spirit in Chris and she brings contagious enthusiasm to whatever Community Center activity she participates in.

The Skinner family made Anacortes their home 22 years ago and they were fortunate to finally have the opportunity to move across the channel to Guemes in 2013. Chris has three grown children and her husband is a writer.
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Ferry Public Forum

Ferry Public Forum

Join the Skagit County Commissioners, Public Works Department and naval architect Glosten for a public forum on ferry operations. The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Guemes Island Community Center, 7549 Guemes Island Road. Agenda items include an operations update (ridership and revenue statistics, as well as revenue target report), conceptual design and cost estimate for the Guemes parking lot project, and an update on the ferry replacement project from Glosten’s Will Moon.

For more on the replacement project, see our Guemes Island Ferry Replacement Project web page.
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Meet Your Neighbor – Elke Macartney

Meet Your Neighbor - Elke Macartney

Elke is an adopted Guemes islander – at least by the Guemes "Zumbanistas” who can’t wait to see her radiant, smiling face every Monday and Wednesday mornings at 8:45 a.m. for Zumba Gold classes at the Hall.

Elke first experienced Zumba seven years ago and had so much fun she decided to become an instructor, even going further and acquiring additional Zumba Gold training. She has many other talents in addition to dance - writer, educator, spiritual leader and healer. But sharing her love of dance, keeping people young and helping them dance their way to health is some of the “most joyful work I do” according to Elke.

You simply can’t help but feel good when you’re around Elke. She exudes warmth, compassion, and positivity. You might see her sharing her pure joy of movement and expression through music at one of the many local festivals, shows, and music events. You might even see her inventing a new Zumba routine as she commutes on the Guemes ferry – a process she calls “ferry-ography.”

We invite you to join Elke and the happy Guemes “Zumbanistas” and dance yourself into health with Zumba Gold, a low impact form of Zumba. Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:45 -9:45 AM at the Community Center Hall. Or at least give her a good rock-step or two when you see her on the ferry. Most certainly she'll give you a high-five in return.

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Stage Progress Report

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Stage Updates

March '21 Update

Installation of the shake shingles at the stage is complete. The stage is essentially done except for applying the finish which will need to wait for warmer weather. As the physical structure of the community stage nears completion, the focus has begun to shift to landscape preparation — grading, rocks, fill, and plantings.


The Special Use Permit application has been completed and submitted to the County permitting department. This permit is required by the County and must be approved before any events can take place at the stage. The detailed application encompasses many factors and potentialities and includes a somewhat lengthy review and approval process as well as a hefty application fee. When COVID restrictions are lifted we hope we will be permitted and ready for use.


January '21 Update

The rains are upon us and mud season is here which is hindering the moving of dirt. Work progresses on installing the shake shingles on the stage walls. The electrical work is finished and stage lighting occasionally illuminates the structure for a few hours at night. The gutters have been installed. We purchased a rainwater collection tank for landscape irrigation and the system will soon be installed.


The Pre-Application has been submitted to the County and our Pre-Development meeting is scheduled for our Special Use Permit. This permit is required by the County before any events can take place at the stage.


December '20 Update

So fun to see how far we've come this last year, even with all the weather and pandemic challenges!

The GICCA Board appreciates our dedicated stage crew and the many compliments and outpouring of community support we've received. Work remaining on the physical structure includes sanding the floor, installing cedar shakes on the walls, and applying timber oil to both. The final electrical work can then be completed. Gutters and landscaping round out the list.


Progress continues on the Special Use Permit required by the County before any events can take place at the stage. This very detailed application encompasses many factors and potentialities and includes a somewhat lengthy review and approval process as well as a hefty application fee.


November '20 Update

The Great Pumpkin visited the stage over the Halloween weekend and the structure had an eerie glow under the light of the full moon.


November brings the time change and a transition to cooler weather. The stage crew is thankful that the main construction elements are completed. The final wall coverings will be installed in the next few days. Options for gutters and drainage are still being considered. The landscape plan is coming together with the help of Kent Scott, a landscape architect, who is donating his time and expertise.


As previously stated, final inspection and occupancy permit, COVID restrictions, and acquisition of a required Skagit County Special Use Permit will determine when the stage will be available for use by the community. The GICCA Board and our dedicated stage crew appreciate the many compliments and words of appreciation we have received.


GICCA meeting minutes recognize all those who volunteered the previous month. A detailed stage history going back to November 2011 is also available.



October '20 Update

It is now officially Autumn and the cooler nights and falling leaves usher in the changing season. The completed Stage roof was especially welcomed as a cold front brought nearly 1 1/2 inches of much-needed rain. We passed our County framing inspection. The stage crew had a few electrical details to revise before our 2nd electrical inspection but we received the go-ahead to close in the side and back walls. The final wall covering will compliment the appearance of the rugged but elegant timber frame structure. Timber oil will be used to treat all remaining raw wood surfaces.


Discussions are underway with landscape professionals, excavators, and with the County as we develop the landscape plan for the Stage site. The ADA ramp, parking, an access ramp for equipment, grading, and future audience seating are all elements being discussed. We must complete the required mitigation conditions for the wetlands buffer zone before the final inspection.


As stated before, final inspection and occupancy permit, COVID restrictions, and acquisition of a required Skagit County Special Use Permit will determine when the Stage will be available for use by the community. The GICCA Board and our dedicated Stage crew appreciate the many compliments and words of appreciation we have received.



September '20 Update


Another Summer month is behind us and we bemoan the inability to enjoy our normal island traditions and events. GICCA projects, however, are continuing within COVID-19 guidelines. Visitors to Schoolhouse Park can at least enjoy a "distanced" view of the impressive, and long-awaited, community stage as it nears completion.


As seen above, the metal roof is now in place. An electrical and lighting plan was developed and installation is complete; we are awaiting the required inspections. The side walls will be finished and siding installed.


GICCA wishes to acknowledge and thank Dan Olsen of Olsen Tree Service for volunteering his services to trim the north purlin ends. This high altitude task was accomplished safely with his donation of time and expertise. We are grateful to yet another Community Partner!


A number of details remain before an occupancy permit can be granted. Many tons of fill dirt and grading are necessary to bring the surrounding site to code. The ADA ramp and railings must be completed. Future landscaping plans will need to consider ADA access, parking requirements, Ferry Trail plans, and County Parks and Recreation guidelines. COVID restrictions and acquisition of a required Skagit County Special Use permit will determine when the Stage will be available for use by the community.


GICCA is grateful for our crew of dedicated volunteers and for all those who have contributed generously with their time and/or money over the years. The Board is frugal, but expenses continue. You may donate through online or mail a check to GICCA, 7549 Guemes Island Rd, Anacortes, WA 98221 with a "Stage Donation" designation. Your support is greatly appreciated.


July '20 Update


July 4th usually brings over 400 people to Schoolhouse Park to celebrate the holiday, meet the Guemes Fire Department, picnic with friends and family, and eat a famous Guemes hot dog grilled by community volunteers. Covid-19 is keeping us from gathering this year but there is still cause to celebrate. In addition to Independence Day, celebrate the progress on the GICCA (Guemes Island Community Center Association) Stage Project.


We applaud Strandberg Construction...THANKS FOR THE LIFT! A Strandberg crew of two with their huge Gradall forklift came to the site and lifted 5 of our 7 purlin logs, placing them atop the front "showcase" log and the back beam. This donation of time and equipment saved the GICCA Stage Project thousands of dollars. The Stage crew, Rick Norrie, Tom Fouts, Jep Burdock, John Strathman, and Gerry Bosworth, have worked tirelessly to prep the logs for "The Big Lift." After minor adjustments in the next few days, the logs will be shifted into their final positions, awaiting the roof decking and finished metal roof. Using the equipment on-site, work can proceed on the placement of the last two purlins and three remaining vertical logs. The side walls can then be finished followed by electrical, lighting, and sound.


Community volunteers and community partners working together...

“Teamwork makes the dream work”

— a quote from Bang!Gae


May '20 Update


The weather has been mostly favorable recently and the stage crew has made a lot of progress in the last several weeks. The crew is following the COVID-19 Job Site Requirements that allow some construction projects to resume. The seven purlin logs (the front to back roof supports) have been stripped and sanded and timber oil has been applied. The showcase log, back beam, and nearly all of the vertical logs have also been sanded and oiled. Raising and installing the purlins is the next step and the crew is looking for the most economical and safest method. Installing the remaining two side walls and the wiring will follow.


Please take the time to drive past the park at Guemes Island Road and Edens Road to see the progress on the GICCA Stage first-hand. The crew appreciates a friendly honk and a thumbs up. Rick is happy to answer any questions (while social distancing) if you want to stop outside the gate. Thank you to the community for your continued support as this project moves forward toward completion.


January '20 Update


Work is progressing at the stage, although safety concerns prohibit the crew from working in wet and slippery conditions. The final perimeter vertical logs are now in place on the east side of the foundation. Three remaining vertical logs are stripped, dressed, and ready for placement on the west side after the roof purlins are raised. The crew is working on stripping the seven 33 foot long purlin logs. When the weather permits and the logs are ready, they will be raised atop the main vertical logs and work can begin on the support structure for the roof.  Read more & view latest photos


November '19 Update


As you drive past Schoolhouse Park at Edens Road and Guemes Island Road you can see the latest progress at the GICCA Stage. The "showcase" log, donated by Lorrie Steele, is now in place atop the two front vertical logs, donated by Yadi Young. This large arch frames the beautifully crafted back milled beam that is made from timber from Darrington, WA.  Read more & view latest photos


October '19 Update


We are pleased to report more exciting progress at the stage over the last couple of months. Summer is over and rain has interfered with work on some days. However, our dedicated (and hardy!) crew is still working on most clear days despite the increasing cold. Please stop by the site and cheer them on if you see them working. Snacks or warm coffee are always appreciated. Read more & view latest photos


Stage documents shared at 9/19/19 GICCA public meeting


August '19 Update


Summer has been a busy and productive time for the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) Stage Project at Schoolhouse Park. We are excited about our recent progress and renewed momentum!


Here’s a summary of our recent progress:

  • The site has been cleaned up and secured with a construction fence.
  • The deck has been completed.
  • Donated logs have been inspected, graded, peeled, and sanded.
  • Where possible, rot and insect damage are being repaired, and replacement logs have been acquired for those logs that were not salvageable.
  • Donated timbers have been milled into dimensional lumber.
  • Six of the eight main upright logs have been through-bolted in place.

Read more and view latest photos


May '19 Update

GICCA Board Announces New GICCA Stage Project Manager


At the May 16, 2019 Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) monthly meeting, the GICCA board introduced Rick Norrie as the newly appointed volunteer Stage Project Manager. Rick and his wife, Renee, are longtime islanders. Recently retired, Rick now has more time to give to the Guemes community. He is already a valued member of the Guemes Island Volunteer Fire Department. Rick brings his management skills and construction experience to this long-running community project. Rick is committed to moving forward with a positive attitude that emphasizes cooperation and inclusion.


Progress is already apparent when you drive by Schoolhouse Park. A new secure fence is in place around the construction site to keep the community safe as summer attracts more visitors to the park. The site has been tidied up, materials are being inventoried, and construction schedules are being developed. If you recently donated materials or funds for materials and have not been recognized, please contact Rick or a GICCA board member so that we can thank you for your generous donation and provide you with a tax deduction receipt.


Working with the GICCA board and many of our talented volunteers, Rick is leading this ambitious project toward completion. Please contact Rick Norrie at 360-661-5770 with questions or to volunteer.

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April '19 Update

In preparation for a busy Easter holiday weekend at Schoolhouse Park, a crew of past and present GICCA board members met at the Stage Project construction site for a Spring cleanup.


One of the hoop houses is no longer needed and was removed. The second will come down soon in preparation for the arrival of fill dirt. The deck platform is very close to completion which will signal the end of Phase I of the project. Thank you to Mike Gwost, Jorge and Bill Clark for your work on the deck.


Construction has gone on much longer than anticipated and our building permit has expired with no extensions remaining. Phase II will require better planning and a new building permit. The GICCA board is responsive to the community's desire to see the project finished. An updated Volunteer Waiver Form must be completed by all volunteers and submitted to GICCA (updated forms are also available at the stage). Please contact Barb Ohms or Rob Schroder if you have questions on the steps ahead.


March '18 Update

The weather this winter has kept even the hardiest of our volunteers from working on the Stage the last few months. The Community Center Association has the Phase I plan laid out. Our project manager, Rob Schroder, is working with longtime islander and retired builder, Jep Burdock to complete some electrical work before we can finish the decking. Next, we need a stretch of dry weather and more fill dirt before we can finish the grading. When that's done and the hoop houses are removed, we will have a performance platform that can be used.


With Rob and Jep's guidance and a good community effort of cooperation, we could complete Phase I this summer. A tribute to Banjo Eddie would be a fitting inaugural first performance for the stage.


September '17 Update

Volunteers have been hard at work on Phase 1 of the Stage Project. Key word here - "volunteers". Many islanders are giving their time and talents to further progress on the stage, and for that, we're very grateful. The current work happening is part of Phase 1.


If you'd like to volunteer, there are jobs of every level that need hands - from staining wood to hammering and sawing. You don't need prior construction experience for many of the tasks, just a desire to help and hands ready to work.


Jep Burdock, a long-time islander and retired builder, is generously lending his expertise to the stage project. Many thanks to Todd Figenshow, Michael Grennell, and Scott Parker who are working with Rob Schroder, project manager, and Jep to keep island volunteers involved. Anyone who wants to volunteer should contact one of these individuals or email us at 4gicca@gmail.com to find out about volunteer opportunities. Be sure to fill out a Volunteer Waiver Form available by clicking HERE (updated, 4/2019) or at the site.


GICCA Stage Project

GICCA Stage Project

Guemes Island is home to many talented as well as budding musicians. Music is an important and integral part of our culture. The concept of an outdoor stage was the brainchild of a group of island musicians in 2010. Planning and design ensued over the next 2-3 years. Since then many, many hours of volunteer time have been invested in site preparation, materials gathering and prepping, and stage construction activities. More than $70,000 has been raised and spent from numerous fundraisers, generous community contributions, and an Anacortes Parks Foundation Grant.

The stage design has changed over the years. Volunteers, as well as paid professionals, have come and gone for various reasons. GICCA Board members have transitioned numerous times as terms expired and new Board members were elected. All of these transitions have presented new challenges and impacted project timelines and budgets.

Thanks to all who have so generously donated valuable time and money to the stage project! Stage performances, including music, talent shows, fashion shows, theater, etc., will enrich the artistic culture on the island and enhance our strong sense of community. The stage will be a wonderful asset for us all to take pride in and enjoy!


To learn how you can make future contributions, please go to the Donate/Volunteer page. Make sure to indicate that your donation is for the stage.


The GICCA Stage Project at Schoolhouse Park is being built on Community Center property. As such, GICCA is responsible for project oversight including project structure and operating guidelines, budget management, volunteer and construction coordination, and the safety of all involved. All stage construction and purchasing decisions must be approved by the GICCA-appointed project manager. All volunteers involved in tasks that require them to be physically present on the stage site must sign and submit a Volunteer Waiver before engaging in such tasks.


Important reminder to everyone working on the stage: Fiscal responsibility by the elected Board to our generous donors demands the central coordination of tasks and purchases. We have an ongoing policy that all work is coordinated through the GICCA-appointed stage project manager.


TASKS are delegated as needed to volunteer coordinators with specific knowledge and skills. They, in turn, call on our talented volunteer workforce to complete these specific tasks. Safety and liability concerns may require outsourcing of certain tasks.


MATERIALS must also be coordinated through the project manager. This ongoing policy is necessary to keep costs for this monumental project in check. Unauthorized purchases will be considered a donation and CAN NOT be reimbursed. We thank you for respecting this long-standing policy.


Click here for stage updates


Welcome Bags

Welcome Bags

Groundfloor Guemes would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Guemes Island neighbors on behalf of the entire community!

We're a community outreach group within the Guemes Island Community Center Association. We strive to support environmental and economic sustainability within our community while supporting island non-profit groups and projects. The Welcome Bag project is just one of the many fun projects we've undertaken.

We have prepared a small tote with information to help new islanders become acquainted with our community. If you're a new island homeowner and would like to receive a welcome bag and/or would like to learn how to get involved with our group, please use the CONTACT US tab above to introduce yourself and provide your contact information.

Organic Food Procurement

Organic Food Procurement

You are invited to join our island food-purchasing group!

The Groundfloor Guemes group of the Community Center strives to encourage an environmentally and economically sustainable community on Guemes Island. We support the purchase and distribution of island products as well as the ordering of organic and sustainable products from Azure.

Products ordered from Azure are delivered monthly to a drop site in the town of Anacortes. Groundfloor has organized a system of cooperative-buying, whereby small orders can be combined to avoid a minimum-amount charge, and participants can profit from the cost-savings on items purchased in large quantities. A monthly list of large-quantity purchases is mailed to all participants. In addition to the Azure foods and products, island-raised Yak meat and Guemes Sunrise coffee may be ordered. Groundfloor members pick up the orders at the drop site and bring them back to the island for distribution. Participants pay only the purchase price of the items ordered.

Islanders may participate in this program in one of two ways.
Create an account with Azure and join the Anacortes drop site. There is no required membership fee. There is a $50 minimum order amount. You may, even if you have your own account, choose to order less than the minimum order amount by joining a group order. You may request that your order be picked up at the drop site and brought to the island by a Groundfloor volunteer.
Simply place your (less than minimum amount) order with one of the island coordinators and then pick up your order from the designated island location.

If you would like more information about Azure, please review their catalogs at the Guemes Library or browse their website at www.azurestandard.com. If you would like more information about joining the island buying group, contact Marianne Kooiman at eyrie@cnw.com or Edie Clark at bneclark@gmail.com.

Vision Project

Vision Project

The purpose of this project is to explore the possible expansion of the community center, how it may be used in the future, and what changes might need to be made to serve future residents of Guemes Island.

The Vision Committee, a sub-committee of GICCA, will be comprised of 5 members representing each of the following groups:

  • Guemes Island Community Center Association - Rob Schroeder
  • Guemes Island Library - Carol Pellett
  • Community Emergency Response Team - Gail Nicolls [alternate Barb Ohms]
  • Guemes Island Historical Society - Tom Deach
  • Community At Large - Gary Curtis

At this time, meetings will be held monthly on the second Thursday of each month, 7pm, at the Guemes Island Community Church. Meetings are open to the public. The Committee will report to the GICCA Board on a quarterly basis; more often if deemed necessary.