Vote yes for Island Rec | Editorial

This upcoming April election, San Juan Islanders are being asked to vote on Island Rec’s levy renewal. The current levy expires later this year and we at the Journal ask you to please vote yes.

Island Rec is requesting a renewal of the existing property tax levy rate of 38.5 cents per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value, to be divided between its programs and trails (16.5 cents), Friday Harbor High School sports (10 cents) and several of the islands’ parks (12 cents).

The recreation district offers various recreation programs, classes and special events, for which the levy would cover 80% and participants, grants and donations cover the remaining 20%. Island Rec offers a variety of programs for children and adults and has continued to provide online fitness classes to islanders amid the pandemic. It also provides full funding for the San Juan Island Trails Committee.

Since the San Juan Island School District’s levy only funds basic education, Island Rec has levied funds since 2010 to support the islands’ public high school athletics program. The program cannot be completely covered by the parents of students who participate as they’re already expected to pay $30 to be part of the student body and $150 per sport to participate, one of the highest among any of the high schools in the state, according to Island Rec.

Sports are an integral part of education for many students and often instills a lifelong love of fitness.

Along with funding programs and sports, the levy also funds operations and maintenance of five of the islands’ beautiful parks John O. Linde Community Park; Lafarge Open Space; Eddie & Friends Dog Park; The Skate Park; and the Family Park & Playground.

For the sake of the islands’ children and anyone who enjoys the benefits of a well-funded public recreational district, vote yes on Island Rec’s levy renewal.