Failing and diseased old-growth trees have forced Washington State Parks to close for the season the campground and group camp at South Whidbey Island State Park.
Park staffers preparing for the camping season recently noted several large Douglas fir trees in the campground had snapped and fallen across campsites, according to a news release from the department.
State Parks Stewardship Program staff responded and sought help from a state Department of Natural Resources forest pathologist. Assessments found advanced levels of heart rot in the stems of large old-growth trees. Many of the remaining old trees in the campground also were found to exhibit characteristics suggesting that they also are infected with advanced levels of heart rot, a condition that can cause trees and limbs to fall, according to the release.
Campers with reservations for the 2015 season are urged to telephone the State Parks camping reservation center at 888-226-7688 for assistance in transferring reservations to another park or to receive a full refund.
The 347-acre park is one of the few lowland areas in the Puget Sound region that still supports old-growth forest.
The park, near Greenbank, remains open for day-use.
State Parks Director Don Hoch said the agency will begin a site-planning process late this summer or early fall to determine the future of the campground.
The campground at Kopachuck State Park near Gig Harbor has been closed since 2011, when trees were found to be weakened by laminated root rot. The park now operates for day use only.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park-Seattle Unit is offering free performances of “Klondike: The Last Adventure.”
The new production follows the journey of Eliza, a young woman who travels to the Yukon gold fields. The program combines theater, video and live interactions to produce a family event. The no-cost performance will take place in the park's theater June 4 and 14, July 12, Aug. 9 and Sept. 13.
While admission to the park and the performance are free, seating is limited.
The park is at 319 Second Ave. S., Seattle.
VOLUNTEER AT RAINIER
There still are a multitude of volunteer opportunities this spring and summer at Mount Rainier National Park. Among them are:
If you'd like to receive monthly notices on new volunteer opportunities, send an email to email@example.com.