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Fox Island, WA

ncc.JPG (8716 bytes)Fox Island, WA is home to a variety of public places and non-profit organizations.  Tanglewood Island is the most visible icon of the Fox Island area, with its non-operational lighthouse, the Fox Island Nature Center features trails and picnic areas traversing a wetland stream, the Fox Island Sand Spit with its naturally occurring gravel formation in Case Inlet, the Nichols Community Center and Fox Island playground, Boat Launch and Fishing Pier, located on the easternmost tip of the Island.Fox Island, WA and Mt. Rainier
The Nichols Center, 690 9th Ave.

Explore these areas via the links at left, and see what Fox Island has to offer.

15 Years On The Web!
Fox Island Webmaster - John OhlsonJune 11, 2014 will mark the 15th anniversary of FoxIsland.net going online. Seems like it was only yesterday, when I first published FoxIsland.net in the wee hours of June 11, 1999.  (see photo at left)

That day a new online presence was launched for Fox Islanders, and a new company was born; Dragonwyck Web Design.  From our meager beginnings and our very first customer Don and Laura Musgrave, Fox Island's web presence has flourished. 

Dragonwyck is now host to over 120 websites, and the website has a new domain name: FoxIslandWA.net

It started out as a few simple pages; Island Organizations, Events, News, and Narrows Bridge Traffic cameras.  Today, with over 130 pages, it records a rich history of Fox Island's past 10 years, and we don't worry much about bridge traffic anymore.

Today, over 224,000 visitors later, this website has become the focal point and online forum for many community issues over the years; from protesting tolls on the Narrows Bridge, to stopping the 60 lot Fox Ridge subdivision from being built, deterring the Navy from expanding it's beachfront laboratory, seeking action on fixing the boat ramp, keeping Kopachuck State Park open, to helping rid the Island of the coyote problem.

The Fox Island eFlash mailing list has grown from a handful of people to many members, keeping Island residents informed about what is going on around the island, and current issues that affect our community.

As we enter our next ten years, many challenges lie ahead, but our website keeps us linked together in this modern, real-time information age.

John Ohlson,
Webmaster

Camp Miyajama - Fox Island's Girl's Camp

Camp Miyajama - Fox Island, 1925Camp Miyajama was a girl's camp located on Fox Island, near Cedrona Bay in the 1920's.  The Japanese styled structure was originally built for a World's Fair in the 1920's, and moved to Fox Island when the fair ended.

This page from a Puyallup area girl's memory book depicted life at camp during the week of May 2-3, 1925.

The building eventually burned down, and was never rebuilt, closing Camp Miyajama forever.

 

 

 


Girls in the photo are: Helen Snow, Merna Montgomery, Elizabeth Neace,
Mildred Meader, Irene Craig, Eunice Healey, Eleanor Smith, Mareta Cooper,
Faire Van Woert, Helen Read, Velma Goodner, Louise Chase, June[?] Barry
 

Santa Comes to Fox Island!
On a cold and windy night in December 2009, the volunteers from the Fox Island Fire Department helped bring Santa Claus to the annual Fox Island Tree Lighting ceremony.

Children gathered around the bonfire sang Christmas carols while awaiting Santa's arrival.  When the chorus of Santa Claus is coming to town was sung, Santa arrived with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After candy canes were handed out, the crowd retreated into the warmer confines of the Nichols Community Center, where the Wickline Family Singers played their traditional "Down Home Country Christmas" concert.

FICRA would like to thank the Fox Island firemen and the many volunteers who helped make this great event possible.

FICRA Sponsors New Cub Scout Pack 27
October 6, 2011
At the October FICRA meeting, the FICRA Board voted unanimously to sponsor Cub Scout Pack 27, to be based at the Nichols Community Center on Fox Island.

To date, 7 boys have joined the Pack, and all have already earned their Bobcat badges!  Their first outing will be to Camp Ramblewood near Sequim.

Fox Island boys ages 7 - 10 years old are encouraged to join, visit our Pack 27 website for more information or call Scoutmaster John Ohlson at 253-380-4100.

FICRA Sponsors Fox Island Boy Scout Troop
Fox Island's Troop 27 Scouts at Camp RamblewoodOn November 29, 2007, FICRA became the proud sponsor of Fox Island's own Boy Scout Troop 27, headquartered at the Nichols Community Center on Fox Island.  The new troop is getting ready for another year of 'high adventure' outings, including camping, hiking, climbing, canoeing, archery and more.

Boys aged 11 to 17 who are interested in having fun in the outdoors are encouraged to join; contact John Ohlson at 253-549-2701 or visit Troop27BSA.com for more information.

Meetings are held at 6:30 PM on the second & fourth Tuesday of the month.  Bring a friend, and get ready for adventure!

Nichols Center Gets New Flagpole
On Saturday, March 3rd, members of Cub Scout Pack 202, Den 7 raised the new flagpole at the Nichols Center.

The cubs built the new flagpole from a fir tree found on Fox Island, and they spent three months making it; stripping the bark, polishing the wood, and applying varnish & hardware.  The old flagpole was blown down in a windstorm in February, 2006.

Once the new pole was raised, the Cubs performed a flag ceremony, with a brand new American Flag, donated by FICRA.

 


 


Above: Pack 202's Cub Scouts hoist the new flagpole into place.

Left: Members of Den 7 performed the flag ceremony; Assistant Den Leader Brandon Stevenson, Den Leader Doug Nilsen, Blake Paffile, Walker Carlson, Blaize Stevenson, Dan Sheppard and Jonathan Nilsen.  Not pictured: Bobby Blaser.

Nichols Center Gets New Deck
February 25, 2007 - Eagle Scout candidate Page Ollice of Boy Scout Troop 212 recently completed his Eagle Scout service project - a new deck for the Nichols Center.  Expanding on the old design, the new deck includes a 2' wider footprint, safer railings, and improved traffic flow from the main door to the stairs.

 

 

 

 


Page Ollice, his brother and Father Larry admire the completed work.


Nichols Center Gets New Doors

One rainy Saturday recently, FICRA volunteers Tony Moore, John Arno and John Ohlson  installed three new replacement doors at the Nichols Center.

The old doors had become rotten at the bottom and needed replacing, and one was warped so badly, the door latch would not stay attached.

The Pierce County Fire Marshall required us to repair the one door to maintain a safe exit, so we decided to do all three.

The new doors went in without a hitch, and will provide a more secure entryway, and better fit to help keep the cold drafts outside.

Thanks Tony, John & John!

A New Bridge Sign For Fox Island

FICRA has a new bridge sign!
After years of reliable service, the old bridge sign had seen better days, and was broken, and in need of replacement.  Enter Paul Schneeman, Fox Island Handyman and all-around nice guy.

Paul built a new sign from donated materials and added a second side to the sign, for mainland-bound traffic.  Now you can keep up with Island happenings both coming and going from Fox Island!   FICRA would also like to thank Paul for cleaning the gutters at the Nichols Center, and for taking down the Fox Island Christmas Tree after the holidays.

Thank You Paul!


Cub Scouts Shea Brown, Garrett Stephens, Alex Ohlson, and Ben Long admire the new tree.
Fox Island Cub Scouts Plant New Christmas Tree For FICRA

In the summer of 2005, Cub Scouts from Fox Island's Pack 202, planted a new Christmas Tree in front of the Nichols Center.

In a few years, the tree is expected to grow large enough to serve as the Christmas Tree for the Fox Island community tree lighting ceremony, to be held on Saturday, December 2nd.  In the meantime, it will be the 'little brother' tree to the traditional 20' tall one, which is decorated by the Fox Island Volunteer Fire Fighters, and donated by Ketcham Evergreens of Fox Island.

The Cubs also installed birdhouses in the Fox Island Nature Center.

FICRA Supports the Boy Scouts of America on Fox Island

Editor's note: The 'Cub Scout Christmas Tree' pictured at left was removed by FICRA's buildings committee in 2012, as it no longer 'fit in' with their new garden plans.  It has not been replaced to date.

Fox Island Girl Scouts Plan New Garden

Girl Scout Troop 290, led by Leader Lise' Ohlson is planning on planting a flower & shrub garden in the circular area at right.

 They are working on a service project to help earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award.

FICRA Supports the Girl Scouts of America on Fox Island

 

2008 FICRA Scholarship Winner

Each year FICRA awards a $500.00 scholarship to a high school senior whose parent or guardian resides on Fox Island.
 

 

 

 


Andrew Schneeman, 2008 FICRA Scholarship winner

2005 Tree Lighters Janet & Paul Schneeman
FICRA's 2005 Christmas Tree Lighters were Janet & Paul Schneeman, of Fox Island.

The Schneeman family moved from Auburn to Fox Island in October 1999 because of Paul’s passion for sailing, boating and water activities. As a registered nurse, Janet is a diabetes educator at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Paul recently launched his own business “Specialized Woodworking” assisting people with their home improvement projects.

Janet is FICRA's Secretary, and a volunteer for many FICRA events. She helps at the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, the Tree Lighting, the FICRA Fair, and is the Bingo Coordinator.

 Janet recently said "I like volunteering at the community center because I meet new people and feel like I am 'part of the island' - especially doing activities with people who have lived on fox island for many years. I love being behind the scenes at these long-standing traditional island events." Janet's husband Paul volunteers for the Fox Island Crime Watch. Congratulations to the Schneeman family!

Santa Comes To Fox Island

On December 4th, Santa made his annual visit to Fox Island to greet the children and hand out candy canes at the traditional FICRA Tree Lighting ceremony.

Cub Scouts Lead Caroling Around Bonfire

Cub Scouts from Fox Island's Pack 202 helped lead the singing of Christmas Carols around the bonfire, prior to the tree lighting ceremony.  Fox Islander's Paul & Janet Schneeman lit the tree this year.


Matt Snow, recipient of the 2006 FICRA Scholarship is congratulated by FICRA President John Ohlson


Hank Henry was the 2006 FICRA Fair Grand Marshall


FICRA President John Ohlson presents Andy Willis with the $500.00 scholarship check at the 2003 FICRA Fair.

FICRA College Scholarship Awarded

The 2003 $500.00 FICRA scholarship was awarded to Gig Harbor High School graduate Andrew Davis Willis son of Chris 'EZ' and Patricia Willis. Andy plans on attending Seattle Pacific University.  

Update on FICRA's Nature Center Project
July, 20005


Scout Keith Buchanan admires the completed footbridge, built with assistance from members of Boy Scout Troop 282.

Although it may not look like it, lots has been going on with our Nature Center over the past year.

The Footbridge and Park Bench installation was built by local Boy Scout volunteers from Troop 282 in Gig Harbor.

Eagle Scout Keith Buchanan headed up the footbridge project, which created a 60' bridge over the stream which runs through the property.

Stop by and see the progress. The bridge is now completed, and all of the benches are installed.

Eagle Scout John Uehlin headed up the Park Bench project, which placed 10 park benches along the trail at various points of interest.

Each bench is made from weather-resistant materials, and features the names of donors who contributed $500 in the fundraiser last fall.

The bridge and park bench projects are now complete, with a grand opening and dedication during the FICRA Fair.

Fox Island's two Garden Clubs; Sand & Soil, and The Fox Island Garden Club have teamed up to help provide native plantings at the trailhead area, and will help coordinate the installation of bird houses and bat houses being constructed by Island volunteers with donated materials.


Scout John Uehlin (left) helps guide a bench seat into place, with assistance from members of Boy Scout troop 212

Help Save Fox Island's Wetlands!
Click here to learn more about this photo
The 'Fox Island Nature Center' is a pristine greenbelt, containing a small stream, and many forms of wildlife.  The property is currently owned by FICRA, thanks to generous donations from Fox Island Residents.

October, 2005

We Did It!  By coming together as a community, we were able to raise the necessary funds to make the down payment on our cherished wetland nature park. 

January 2011

The property was paid off in 2010, and is now under sole ownership of FICRA and the Fox Island Community.

Nichols Center Flagpole Rebuilt

2004 - Eagle Scout Candidate Mark McKinney recently completed his Eagle Scout service project at the Nichols Center. 

His project included removing the flagpole, removing old nails and rotted wood, applying a fresh coat of paint, replacing the rope and hardware, and building a new concrete & tile base around the pole.

Mark (on left in photo) celebrated the completion of the project with a flag raising ceremony at the May FICRA meeting, assisted by one of his fellow scouts from Troop 212 out of Chapel Hill Church.

Mark, son of Fox Island residents Marshall and Gretchen McKinney, is a student at Gig Harbor High School.

FICRA wishes to thank Mark for his hard work and coordination of this project.

2005 Soggy Egg Hunters Have a Great Time!

Several hundred Fox Island children braved the rain and soggy grass to hunt for Easter Eggs in the 2005 FICRA Egg Hunt.  Over 3000 eggs containing candy, toys and prize tickets were quickly snapped up by eager hunters.

With parents hovering nearby with umbrellas and video cameras, the children splashed through the Nichols Center grounds in search of the brightly colored eggs.  A bake sale offered a huge assortment of cookies, cakes and muffins to help raise funds for FICRA.  Several craft vendors offered their wares to the crowd.

FICRA would like to thank the volunteers who helped make this year's Easter Egg hunt a success.  Lise' Ohlson was the event Chairperson, who organized the event, helped get all 3000 eggs stuffed in time for the hunt, and procured the prizes over the last few months. Janet Schneeman and Judy Kanick helped staff the bake sale booth, Pam Gurr and Megan & Meredith Gurr were the Easter Bunny's assistants, Maggie and Harrison Flannigan, and Andrew Schneeman helped set up the hunting areas and hide eggs.  And thank you to the many other volunteers who staffed the prize room, helped set up the hunt, hide the eggs and clean up afterwards.  Special thanks to everyone who helped stuff eggs this year; Cub Scouts from Pack 202, Brownie Girl Scouts from Troop 290, and the rest of the volunteers!  Thank You!

2004 Easter Egg Hunt Was A Blast!
The 2004 FICRA Easter Egg Hunt was well attended, over 100 Fox Island children attended. 

In addition to  egg hunting, there were photos with the Easter Bunny, a bake sale, gift bazaar, latte stand and prizes for the lucky children that got 'special' eggs.

 

Some of the Easter Bunny's helpers this year were: Pam Gurr, Megan Gurr, Meredith Gurr, Michele Vick, John Ohlson, Judy Kanick, Janet Schneeman, and Lise' Ohlson.  Thanks, Volunteers!

 

 

 

The 2002 Easter Egg Hunt was sponsored by FICRA

Our thanks to Lise' Ohlson, who organized this year's hunt!

Thanks Lise'!

A good time was had by all at the 2002 FICRA Fair.  According to many fairgoers, old timers and new visitors alike, it was 'the best ever'! 

Over 80 booths offered their wares at the fair this year, including flowers, baskets, artwork, jewelry, games for the kids, homemade berry cobbler, meatball subs, egg rolls, and the famous "Fair Burgers".

FICRA thanks this year's fair organizers, Pam Turnbull and Lise' Ohlson.


See the 2005 FICRA T-shirts!

The world's shortest parade!

This year's Grand Marshall was 
Warren Gustafson.

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