Twanoh State Park hosts ShellFest 2015 event

ShellFest 2015 is coming July 11 to Twanoh State Park in Mason County.

The event includes information exhibits, food, activities and education about restoring and protecting shellfish beds in Puget Sound as part of the Washington Shellfish Initiative.

Activities will include low-tide walks guided by local experts, ice tables with displays of different shellfish and hands-on activities for children. There will be presentations by the Skokomish Tribe, including cedar-bark pounding, short rope-weaving demonstrations, songs and drumming, and storytelling by tribal member Delbert Miller.

The event will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the park, 12190 E. State Route 106, Union.

Lunch will be provided by Taylor Shellfish, featuring Chef Xinh Dwelley of Xinh’s Clam and Oyster House in Shelton. Lunch is from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and will consist of sautéed clams and geoduck chowder. Lunch is free with a suggested donation of $5 a person or $15 a family to benefit the Washington State Parks Foundation. A Discover Pass is required in the park on event day.

The park, sitting on the south shoreline of Hood Canal, has one of the warmest saltwater beaches in the state. The 182-acre park has 3,167 feet of canal shoreline and 47 campsites.

Twanoh is popular for shellfish harvesting. A shellfish license is required. Oyster beds are seeded annually, providing for ample harvests. There is a winter smelt run along the park beaches. In late fall, there is a chum salmon run in Twanoh Creek, but the creek is closed to fishing.

For more information on the park, visit parks.wa.gov/294/Twanoh.


The Mount Rainier National Park Associates will hold a volunteer work party July 11. This will be the group’s annual exotic plant removal work party.

Participants will be working at the new Carbon River Ranger Station, located a few miles west of the Carbon River entrance of the park on the Carbon River Road.

The ranger station occupies a building that was once the Carbon River Ranch. The area is still referred to as the Thompson property. The property extends from the road down to the Carbon River. There will be an abundance of invasive, exotic plants to remove.

To participate, there is no need to know about native plants. The park crew members will teach participants which plants to remove, and they will be able to identify the native plants in the area. There will be no heavy tools to carry and use. Safety helmets are not required.

Volunteers should bring work gloves, a small digging tool like a hand trowel, or your favorite weed removing tool, a lunch, plenty of fluids to drink, and a rain gear (if necessary). A warm jacket would be good to include.

Volunteers will meet between 8:30-9 a.m. in front of the ranger station. Be ready to go to work by 9 a.m. and expect to finish about 3 p.m.

If you plan to attend, send an email to volunteer@mrnpa.org indicating that you are coming and give the number of volunteers you expect to accompany you.


An open house to celebrate the completion of the new Sunset Beach Bathhouse at Lake Sammamish State Park will be held Tuesday.

The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. at the park, 2000 NW Sammamish Road, Issaquah, just north of Interstate 90 at Exit 15.

Festivities will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by music from the Sammamish Symphony quartet and tours of the new building. Refreshments will be served.

The $2.3 million bathhouse includes a “living” roof with plants to blend with the park’s open space along Sunset Beach, solar panels and rainwater collectors to irrigate adjacent rain gardens.