Parks, Trails & Natural Areas Plan

2016 Plan update

The Parks, Trails and Natural Areas Plan (PTNA) provides direction for the development, management and acquisition of parks, trails, non-motorized transportation facilities, and natural areas for the Parks & Fair Department, Land Bank, and Public Works Departments of the County. New with this update is incorporation of the County's Non-Motorized Transportation Plan. The PTNA provides a long-term vision and six-year plan to guide action and investment in a wide variety of outdoor spaces and facilities managed by San Juan County. This document is designed to maintain San Juan County’s eligibility for state-based park and recreation grant funding.

We have a DRAFT of the updated Parks, Trails and Natural Areas Plan, proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Transportation Element, proposed amendments to the Transportation Inventory, and a SEPA Determination of NonSignificance ready for YOUR review and comment.  The plan includes an inventory of existing properties and facilities, a capital facilities plan, goals and policies, and a plan for implementation.

From January to April 2016, the San Juan County Parks and Fair Department, Public Works Department, and Land Bank worked with a team from Cascadia Consulting Group to carry out a dynamic public engagement process to inform the update of the PTNA. The process included conducting a statistically significant survey and interacting directly with residents at four open houses, one on each of the ferry-served islands (San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw).

This process revealed the key trends and specific findings related to residents’ stated needs, and is intended to be used to ensure that investments and actions outlined in the 2016-2022 Plan reflect community priorities.

We hope you’ll take some time to read through these chapters, consider how the content affects your use of our local public lands, and take a few moments to comment. You may send e-mail comments to We will continue to accept public comments until at least early September.

On September 16, 2016 the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the adoption of proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Transportation Element, and the Parks, Trails and Natural Areas Plan 2017-2022. See the August 26 Planning Commission Memo including proposed amendments to the Transportation Element. See the Planning Commission agenda. An environmental checklist was prepared and a SEPA Determination of NonSignificance was issued on August 31, 2016. See the Notice of the public hearing and Staff Report - Planning Commission's Sept. 16 Public Hearing.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE for public participation, processing, and adoption:

  • September 16, 2016   Planning Commission public hearing and deliberations          
  • September 2016         County Council 1st touch briefing
  • October 2016             County Council 2nd touch briefing
  • November 2016         County Council adoption of PTNA Plan - Resolution for transmittal to Recreation & Conservation Office   
  • December 2016          County Council hearing and adoption of 2016 annual docket

Questions about the PTNA can be sent to Parks & Fair Director Dona Wuthnow at or by calling the Parks & Fair office at 378-8420. Questions about the transportation element of the Comprehensive Plan to Linda Kuller, Community Development Deputy Director at or 370-7572.

Check this page for further details on public hearings and other information.
You can view the existing Parks, Trails & Natural Areas Plan (2011-2016). (Adobe® Acrobat® file).