The mission of the Anderson Island Park & Recreation District is to preserve open space, wildlife habitat and natural greenbelt, to provide recreational opportunities for island residents and visitors, and to preserve and maintain facilities for the benefit of the public.
The Anderson Island Park & Recreation District was established by the voters of Anderson Island in May, 1968. Having recognized the need to act so that future generations could continue to enjoy the natural flora and fauna, scenic vistas, solitude and opportunities for outdoor recreation valued by island residents and property owners, and faced with the challenge to preserve the island’s iconic one-room schoolhouse, a committee of islanders had petitioned Pierce County for the right to form a Park and Recreation District.
The Anderson Island Vision Statement, adopted as part of the Anderson and Ketron Islands Community Plan (2008), states in part: "The island contains well planned public infrastructure and services to support a diversity of residents’ needs including safe walking areas, recreational opportunities, parks and open space." The Anderson Island Park & Recreation District was conceived and created by the citizens of the island in anticipation of fulfilling this vision.
Surveys of Anderson Island residents, as well as public input at planning workshops hosted by the District and by Pierce County Planning and Land Services, have consistently verified the desire of the community to preserve its rural character. This is most clearly expressed in Objective 28 of the Community Plan, namely "encourage acquisition and retention of open space through the use of a variety of strategies." This is supported by Principle 28.1, "Coordinate with local land trusts and public agencies to promote acquisition of high priority parcels on Anderson Island." Again, the District is the public agency best positioned to implement this policy.
The Park and Recreation District receives revenue from property taxes of between $130,000 and $140,000 a year. This operating levy comes up for public vote every six years.
Except for special projects like the bathroom, donation income has typically been small, a few hundred dollars a year.
The District has received grants for acquisitions and special projects.
There are no paid employees, but the Park District does engage two vendors year-round: a bookkeeper and a maintenance contractor to execute regular park maintenance.
For all other activities, the District relies heavily on volunteer work from the Commissioners and others to apply for grants and to get special projects done. The District also has the authority to put special purpose levies for capital projects up for public vote.
The District will continue to rely on volunteers to accomplish specific projects. The District will pursue grants and work with non-profit conservation groups to acquire property identified as significant for conservation or public use. A special levy will be requested for any large capital projects.