In 2010, the San Juan Preservation Trust conveyed a 26-acre property on the northeast shore of Orcas Island to Washington State Parks, providing Moran State Park with its first accessible saltwater beach.
Washington State Parks approached the San Juan Preservation Trust in 2007 to explore ways to acquire the property. Recognizing a unique opportunity to add accessible saltwater beach to this popular park, the Preservation Trust’s board of trustees moved swiftly to purchase the property. Subsequent grant funds received from the Washington Wildlife Recreation Program (WWRP) allowed State Parks to then acquire the property from the Preservation Trust and fold it into the adjacent park.
“Connie Collingsworth and Allen Wilcox, the original landowners, deserve credit for bringing this all together,” said Tim Seifert, executive director of the Preservation Trust at the time. “They were resolved to make their land part of the adjacent park, so they sold the property to us at a price significantly below its market value.”
While this property is currently undeveloped, it will eventually give park visitors access to new trials, an historic lime kiln, stunning views of Mount Baker, and more than 1,200 feet of saltwater shoreline along Orcas Island’s remote northeast coast.
“It’s exciting to be adding another dimension to one of our most popular parks,” said Rex Derr, Washington State Parks Director. “Moran State Park has so many beautiful and special features, and this addition of saltwater shoreline will be a real benefit to the public.”