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Deception Pass Foundation dedicates park sign to CCC work

John Tursi joined the Civilian Conservation Corps as a teenager. Born into a hard-luck life in inner New York City, he enrolled in the CCC as a teen, left New York by train and arrived in the Pacific Northwest three days later.

Tursi worked at Deception Pass as a Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee at Camp Deception Pass, now known as the Cornet Bay Retreat Center.

Recently the Deception Pass Park Foundation installed a sign in honor of the corpsmen’s hard work and dedication to the park.

The Deception Pass Park Foundation purchased the interpretive sign commemorating the CCC’s work in this area of the park. Park maintenance specialist Marvin Wold constructed the foundation of the sign in the same rockwork style seen throughout the park. The dedication took place April 28.

The sign is located near the underpass of Highway 20, just off of the North Beach road in Deception Pass State Park. The tunnel, also built by the CCC, is driven over by thousands of people every day, although few know that it even exists. The tunnel is now part of the park’s “Discovery Trail,” which allows hikers to move from the west to the east sides of the park without crossing over the highway.

During the dedication the sign, Tursi talked a little about his life philosophy, which is deeply rooted in a sense of service to community and helping others. Tursi, now in his 90s, still visits the park at least once a week.

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