Park Improvements

Welcome ot the Visitor Improvements page! This page lists the projects and plans that the San Juan County Parks, Recreation, and Fair is currently involved with. 

Projects Under Construction, Design, & Engineering or Recently Completed

  1. Shark Reef Sanctuary Waterless Vault Toilets on Lopez Island

The twNew double waterless vault toilet at Shark Reefo previous stand-alone vault toilets at Shark Reef Sanctuary were demolished in early September of 2023 and have been replaced. A new double unit Romtec Model 1008 waterless vault toilet has been installed. The building has a cedar exterior to blend into the surrounding environment. The project was fully completed in mid-December. Visitors needed to plan accordingly because there weren't any restroom facilities while the project was under construction. The contract for the demolition work was awarded to Lopez Sand & Gravel, and the installation of the new toilets was awarded to Big Rock Excavation.  The pre-fab units were purchased at a discount under a cooperative buying agreement with Sourcewell from Romtec, Inc.

  1. Eagle Cove County Park Permanent Vault on San Juan Island

The existing seasonal porta-potty is going to be replaced with a new permanent  vault toeagle cove vault toiletilet. It will be built in the same area of the parking lot where the portable one has been and is anticipated to happen mid- to late-September.  The existing seasonable portable unit will be moved closer to the road. There will limited parking in the parking area while construction is underway. The contract for the work was awarded to Boss Construction, Inc. (Photo on the right is a Romtec Model 1004 like the one to be installed, however the Eagle Cove version will have a gray metal roof, not a green one.)

  1. Shaw County Park Masonry Woodstove and Chimney Rebuilt

Shaw picnic pavilion new masonry woodstove and chimneyA contract was awarded to Solstice Stonecraft to take down the existing masonry chimney and woodstove in the picnic shelter at Shaw County Park on Shaw Island.  Both structures failed due to the cracks, presumably caused by chimney fires in the past that resulted in excessively high temperatures, and had been deemed unsafe to use. The new structure has the same measurements and work began September 18 and was completed at the end of September 2023.  Both structures need time to cure after completion, so no fires will be allowed until the Park Manager has waited the allotted cure time and then built and burned two small fires to break in the new stove fire brick. By December the picnic shelter masonry woodstove will once again be ready to warm and provide a safe cooking surface for visitors. The new chimney included the addition of a spark arrestor to the chimney cap.New spark arrestor on Shaw picnic pavilion chimney

  1. Shaw County Park Beach Access Stairs Repaired

The beach access stairView of new stairs from the beach at Shaw County Parks at Shaw County Park were repaired in September 2023. The new stairs are in the same location and footprint of the previous stairs to the beach at Indian Cove. There was a design contract that was awarded to Acorn Trail Works in February 2023.  The repair work, because it was in an area of archaeological interest, was monitored by an archaeologist who was on site during excavation. Work began on September 11 and was finished on September 22. The repair contract was awarded to Acorn Trail Works and the archaeological monitoring services were provided by Caldera Archaeology.    View from top of new stairs to the beach at Shaw County Park

  1. HistoriCorps Work on the Fairgrounds Historic Pioneer Cabin

By August 2023 HistoriCorps® completed an enormous amount of work on the PiHistoric cabin prior to restoration by HistoriCorps®oneer Cabin on the Fairgrounds on a project for the San Juan Historical Museum. A total of 30 volunteers who worked in groups of 10-12 for one or two week stints put in a total of 1578 hours of work.


  • Excavated around the perimeter of the building and replaced dirt with crushed gravel to improve drainage; installed new perforated pipe in the gravel to replace existing.
  • Lifted, leveled and cribbed building while removing deteriorated sill logs.
  • Poured four new concrete, steel reinforced piers below sill logs on north side of the building to replace existing bearing surface of dirt and small stones.
  • Poured new concrete curbs on interior floor, up to east and west sill logs to match existing.
  • Replaced sill logs in-kind (cedar) around the entire perimeter of the building, notched to match existing.
  • Sprayed new sill logs with Timbor to help prevent future insect damage.
  • Following architectural plans, notched logs and installed eight steel brackets to logs using 1/2” lag screws ;pinned brackets to concrete piers using 1/2” bolts epoxied into concrete.

Walls and Chimney

  • Restored missing stones to exterior chimney using cement mortar to match existing; cleaned chimney of organics and paint overspray.
  • Removed non-historic chimney on interior northeast corner.
  • Replaced in-kind (Douglas fir) one wall log on north east corner.
  • Repaired three log crowns on southeast corner, four log crowns on northeast corner and one four-foot section of log on east side; used combination of borate, epoxy consolidant, and Sculpwood putty, shaped and primed to match existing.
  • Replaced two stacked header logs (Douglas fir) on south side porch, notched to match existing.
  • Replaced two porch corner posts in-kind (Douglas fir); pinned to large existing stones using 1/2” fiberglass rebar.
  • All porch structural components were pinned together using 8-10” Timberlok screws.


  • Restored six window sashes to historic configuration of ‘six over six’ using new Douglas fir muntin components obtained at local window manufacturer; reglazed and primed sashes.
  • Installed Dutchman repair on east side window sill and small section of jamb.
  • Reinstalled windows and replaced trim (east and west sides) to match existing.
  • Repaired and primed all window sills, jambs and salvageable trim.
  • Painted all existing window and door components (not the door itself) with two coats of high quality paint.


  • Replaced three deteriorated purlins in-kind (Douglas fir) on porch roof, notched to match existing.
  • Replaced eave purlins in-kind (Douglas fir) on either side of the chimney, north side of building.
  • Sprayed roof structure with Timbor to arrest powder post beetle infestation.
  • Tore off existing cedar shake roof and replaced in- kind using 32” straight split shakes and stainless steel nails; replaced 7” roll flashing at porch transition.
  • Replaced spray foam at the gables between logs and shakes with metal mesh and brass wool to discourage pests and infiltration of organic material.
  • Replaced 1 x 12 cedar barge trim on porch roof.
  • Rebuilt cricket at chimney, flashed and counter flashed, including small valley; mortared between chimney and flashing to create watertight seal.
  • Installed shake ridge and safety strap with d-rings to accommodate roof maintenance.