More than 25 volunteers and supporters of Peace Arch State Park from both sides of the border attended a pot luck luncheon on Tuesday, March 29, to meet officials with the State of Washington Parks Department during their annual visit.
Park officials toured the park and facility to observe many improvements that were completed along with the new Peace Arch Port of Entry facility.
Those improvements included restorations to the Peace Arch, new lighting, and a new pedestrian walkway, which will connect both border crossings and the Canadian and U.S. sides of the park. The department’s northwest regional director Eric Watilo said despite cutbacks to state parks across the board, Peace Arch State Park was “blooming,” referring to the parks’s staff and volunteers.
He said park officials are waiting to hear back from the state legislature about further cutbacks.
“There is hope that the Discovery Pass that is being considered and a $30 yearly pass to all of the states parks, will help with the financial shortfall as well as consolidating some of the state’s departments,” he said.
In the meantime, volunteer efforts and donations have helped keep the park in bloom. Van Wingerden’s Plant Nursery in Custer recently donated more than 3,600 plants for the park’s U.S. flag flower bed and park volunteers Paul Atchison, Stan Dunn and Jim West winterized irrigation systems at Semiahmoo. They also raised more than $1,000 for spring plantings.
Efforts by park volunteer Bob Hendricks also helped to purchase flowers for the park by selling plants at the weekly Blaine Gardeners Market.
Those interested in volunteering at Peace Arch Park call 360/332-8221.