Community

New ranger station at Pass

Assistant Regional Manager for Resource Stewardship John Krambrink talks about the importance of the new Deception Pass Ranger Station last Friday. Listening from the left are Ranger Jack Hartt, Rep. Norma Smith, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, Jill Johnson, Rep. Barbara Bailey and Mayor Jim Slowik.     - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Assistant Regional Manager for Resource Stewardship John Krambrink talks about the importance of the new Deception Pass Ranger Station last Friday. Listening from the left are Ranger Jack Hartt, Rep. Norma Smith, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, Jill Johnson, Rep. Barbara Bailey and Mayor Jim Slowik.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

There is no comparison between the old and new ranger stations at Deception Pass. And a nice, new Ranger Station was just what the park needed to help visitors enjoy their stay.

“This is really the engine that drives the tourists to where we live,” Rep. Barbara Bailey said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This facility has been needed for a long, long time.”

A rain garden welcomes visitors to the new facility, formerly the Island Grill, off Highway 20. The meandering garden collects parking lot run-off and filters pollutants from the water.

River rocks decorate the exterior, following the same style as the Civilian Conservation Corps, which built many of the park’s buildings decades ago.

Inside the spacious interior, vaulted ceilings and wood accents are a well-deserved change from the former building, a 1970s-era double-wide school portable.

“You’ve going to get spoiled,” Jon Knechtel, executive director of the Northwest Trail Association, jokingly said to Ranger John Hartt.

But the new facility is more for the sake of visitors than for the comfort of park employees, said Hartt, a sentiment echoed by John Krambrink, assistant regional manager for resource stewardship.

The former office was out of the way, hard for visitors to find and lacked enough space to fit all the employees into the office, although they managed to fit 17 people into the crammed space.

“We had animals running across our papers,” Hartt said of the old office.

Visitors will be able to find the ranger station more easily and employees will no longer have to worry about critters scampering across their desks, he said.

“This is better for the public and better for the protection of the park. This is the perfect location,” Krambrink said, noting that the ranger station is there to facilitate the experience of park visitors.

For more information on Deception Pass State Park, visit www.parks.wa.gov/ or call 675-2417.

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