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Island Kids Explain

We asked local kids to share their tips for keeping the islands clean, being fire safe, and respecting wildlife. Learn about the principles of Leave No Trace from these bright (and often funny!) budding island stewards.

What's special about Orcas Island?

"I love living on Orcas Island because there's so many creatures."

How do you feel when you see garbage around the islands?

"There was a glass bottle, wrappers, and a lot of plastic things. I was telling my mom that people are really just weird to do this." 

What do you do when you see trash on Orcas?

"I would pick it up and put it either in my dad's pocket or my mom's pocket or my pocket. And then I would go find a trash can when we are done with the hike or the walk." 

What advice do you have for people visiting the islands?

"Don't litter. And if you have a snack bar and you want to bring it to the beach, make sure there's a trash can nearby."

Why do you like living in the San Juans?

"There are lots of farms and beaches - and these big hikes where you can go up hills. There are high places and low places. There's a lot of cool animals on Lopez - especially the birds. It's like a mixture of everything."

How can we make sure our fires are safe? 

"When it's summer you don't really want to make a fire that is not inside a burn pit that is made out of metal."

What kind of things are okay to burn?  

"I prefer not putting things in a fire that you're not supposed to. Like don't put in plastic or garbage or burnable things that are not supposed to be burned."

How do we safely put out our fire?  

"Pour some water on it. I would get a stick and go around and break through it and put water, then move it around and see where the rest of it is. Then pour some more water so you know you got it all and you know there's not going to be a problem."

Why do you like living on San Juan Island?

"I like living up here because all the nature is beautiful and the sun is mostly always shining. And everybody is nice around here."

What do you like to do in the Islands?

"South Beach is the place to go! You've got a big beach, an ocean you can play in, and up here we've got rabbits and foxes all over the place.

How can people respect the wildlife they see in the Islands?

"Don't feed them - rule number one. And don't go near their babies. You shouldn't feed the foxes because then they won't hunt for themselves. They'll start going up to people and getting food from them, but that's not the world should work.

What advice do you have for visitors?

"It's really cool how animals work and it's cool what they do in their natural habitat. But don't go anywhere near them because they might never come back."

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San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
1-888-468-3701 | (360) 378-9551
P.O. Box 1330, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
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