New ranger hired at Peace Arch park
When Jason Snow took over as ranger
at Peace Arch State Park last January he said he couldn’t
be happier with his new assignment.
“It’s real different from Birch Bay State Park but I’m happy to have stayed in the county,” the 37-year-old Bellingham native said.
He knows the Peace Arch, having served as interim ranger at the Peace Arch from the fall of 2003 through May of 2005 while his predecessor Wayne Eden was serving in Iraq. Eden has since been promoted, something that required a move to a larger facility so he’s now at Millersylvania State Park near Olympia.
Snow said that the biggest difference in his new assignment is that there’s no campground to operate at the Peace Arch and the whole place is as manicured as an exclusive golf course or garden.
“The campground at Birch Bay takes a lot of time during the summer,” Snow said.
He served at Birch Bay State Park as his first assignment 15 years ago and again in 1993 before returning in 1998 as assistant park manager, working with ranger Ted Morris. He’s also worked at Lake Sammamish, Tolmie and Flaming Geyser parks.
He’s working on learning about all 401 trees, 1,629 shrubs and 2,355 perennials, to say nothing of the 19,000 annuals planted in the beds each spring.
“I’ve got a great staff that’s making it easier,” he said.
The park staff includes June Auld, Robin Marcinko, Victoria Sweet, Joey Salas and volunteers Paul Atchison, George Tranberg and John Yarak.
“These people work very hard to keep this place in good shape, especially considering the kind of traffic this place gets,” Snow said.
He currently is involved in cleaning up the considerable wind and snow damage that hit some of the park’s trees this winter.
“It’s a great place to volunteer,” said Atchison, “and we always have room for more.”
He said that Snow has been working on ways to draw people into the park as they prepare for the centennial of the state park system in 2013. Peace Arch is the fifth oldest in the statewide system.
Snow said his work is varied, involving everything from law enforcement to periodic repair of the Peace Arch monument itself.
“We lost one of the 300-pound hatch covers off the top in the November wind storm,” he said.
Snow and his Canadian counterpart cooperate on Peace Arch maintenance, trading the annual cleaning duties and taking turns sandblasting and painting it, scheduled to be done once again in 2009.