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Posted on: July 10, 2019

Public invited to learn more about plans to improve Schafer State Park

Volunteers will provide picnic lunch and guided walks

OLYMPIA – July 10, 2019 – Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia (FOSLS) invite the public to a community picnic to learn more about a new facilities plan for Schafer State Park.

The picnic takes place 1-4 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at the large historic hall at Schafer State Park, 1365 W. Schafer Park Road, Elma. (Driving directions.)

State Parks staff will share highlights of capital projects and improvements for the park, including:

  • Relocating campground sites. The campground’s current location is adjacent to the Satsop River. During each rainy season, much of it is subject to flooding. State Parks plans to move the vulnerable campground sites to higher ground to prevent further damage and provide a better experience for visitors.
  • A new welcome center. A new visitor-contact building, sited on higher ground, will replace the current building located in the campground. 
  • Improvements to roads and parking. In addition to providing vehicular access to the new campground and welcome center, State Parks plans to relocate existing parking, which is too close to the river, to higher ground.
  • Restoring habitat on the bank of the Satsop River in the vicinity of the current campground. Each time the river floods the campground, repairs need to be made that include adding gravel and non-native materials, which are not ideal for habitat.

During the gathering, participants may take guided walks through the area scheduled for renovation and see work already done by Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia (FOSLS) and Schafer Neighborhood Adopt-a-Park (SNAP) neighborhood volunteers. Live music will provide a festive atmosphere. The FOSLS group will provide burgers, brats and beverages. The public is encouraged to bring a potluck dish to share.

For more information about the upcoming projects scheduled for Schafer State Park, contact Michael Hankinson, State Parks planner, (360) 725-9756 or More information about the Schafer State Park planning effort, visit:

About the Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia
FOSLS is a 501(C)3 community-based organization focused on helping to preserve Schafer and Lake Sylvia state parks. The group also works to present the state park story to the legislature and supports the agency in helping to preserve Washington’s state park system. The group includes a dedicated cadre of volunteers, board members and donors. For more information about FOSLS, visit:

About Schafer State Park
Schafer State Park is a 113-acre camping and day use park on the Satsop River midway between Olympia and the Pacific Ocean. The park offers water access to the river, day-use activities including hiking and picnicking, and overnight camping. Many of the buildings at the park were constructed in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) using native river rocks and wood.

News media contacts:
Michael Hankinson, parks planner, (360) 725-9756
Stet Palmer, FOSLS, (360) 789-9953
Toni Droscher, State Parks Communications Office, (360) 902-8604


About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

 News release number: 19-050

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