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Friends of Skagit Beaches is working with the Port of Anacortes and City of Anacortes to install sixteen new interpretive signs between 17th Street and Guemes Channel. Join us on June 13th at the Seafarers' Memorial Park for a sign dedication ceremony and walking tour to see the new signs. Trail Tales docents will be available at the new signs to share stories about the topics portrayed in the signs. Join us for a guided tour, or you can pick up the new trail map and do your own self-guided walking tour. The Marine Technology Center will also be hosting an open house from 10:30 to noon as part of the event.

The new interpretive signs start on the sidewalk along Q Avenue in front of the Marine Technology Center, winds through the marina, and then jump to Guemes Channel. But on your way to Guemes Channel don't forget to stop at the Museum's interpretive signs by the W.T. Preston Snagboat and the Depot on R Avenue just north of the marina.

Have you wondered how these signs come about? Well it doesn't happen overnight. In fact, it takes about a year start to finish. A small group of individuals put in a lot of time and dedication to make it happen. Here's how it works . ..

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This spring, Trail Tales will be installing an additional 16 interpretive signs, along the Anacortes waterfront, adding to the discovery stations that were completed in 2013 along the Tommy Thompson Trail between 34thStreet and March Point. The new sign panels are currently in the manufacturing phase and will be installed in April and May from 17th Street and Q Streets to Guemes Channel. Above is a "sneak preview" of one of the panels - this one will be at the new discovery station near Seafarers' Memorial.

Save the date for the dedication and ribbon cutting of the new interpretive panels on June 13th at Cap Sante Seafarers' Memorial Park. The dedication event will celebrate with Trail Tales partners, the Port of Anacortes, the Marine Technology Center and others who have supported and shared the sign project. Trail Tales volunteers will be providing guided walks to the new stations and on hand at the new discovery points to share more of Anacortes' history and restoration of the waterfront with the community.

If you have enjoyed the first 16 interpretive signs along the trail and would like to learn more about the topics they cover, please explore the Trail Tales website where you can see each sign and expand on any of the topics for more information and links.

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One of the new Trail Tales interpretive signs that will be installed this spring shares a bit of history about the "Island Celebrations" that Anacortes has held since the1890s. We thought we'd share with you a sneak preview of the sign, and offer some more about the wonderful old Marineers' Pageants held in the "30's and '40's:

Excerpt from new interpretive sign:

Since its days as an insular port city, Anacortes has loved a party.

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The new Padilla Bay Volunteer Program is off and running! New Volunteer Coordinator, Catherine Buchalski, has been busy meeting with Padilla Bay Reserve staff and funding partners to develop a framework for this volunteer consortium. Everyone is feeling very positive and excited about the future! To share that energy with you, the Padilla Bay Foundation is partnering with our fellow non-profit Friends of Skagit Beaches to host an open house from 1-3:30PM after the Friends' annual meeting on January 30. We will provide information about the new Padilla Bay Volunteer program, provide details about upcoming training events and volunteer opportunities in 2015, and get your input on what you hope to see happen over the next year. It will also be a unique opportunity to learn about and actively explore the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. We'll have materials available for you to officially sign-up and register as a Padilla Bay Volunteer, and a door prize just for attending.

Mark Friday, January 30th on your calendars now - you won't want to miss this event! If you have any questions about the open house or the program, please contact Catherine via e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone: 360.428.1559.

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A second group of interpretive signs is currently in development and we are hoping to have them installed by the end of May 2015.  Betty Carteret and Jan Hersey are developing the text and images for the signs and working with the graphic design firm EDX Exhibit Designs in Seattle.  They are the same firm we worked with on the first group of signs and we will be using the same design templates (see photo).  The new interpretive walk will start at the southwest corner of the Marine Technology Center property near the intersection of 17th and Q in Anacortes.  The signs will follow Q Avenue then turn right to line the waterfront of the Cap Sante Marina before crossing to the Guemes Channel at the habitat restoration site completed last year by the Port of Anacortes at the old Wyman's Marina location.  Sign topics will include topics covering Anacortes History, the Anacortes Baywide Cleanup, protecting the bay through use of green technologies and design, and stories of our marine waterfront – past and present.  We hope to host a "grand opening" ribbon cutting and walking tour after the signs are installed.

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